The COVID-19 updates
The Refugee and Asylum-seeking community in Lewiston-Auburn has been growing steadily since 2001; since then we grew from 123 people to over 11,000 individuals. Our community began with Somali people but
through the years has grown exponentially with the arrival of people from Djibouti, Eritrea, Yemen, Iraq, Iran,
Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Sudan, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Togo, Mali, Niger, and from other parts of Africa and the Middle East. LA is truly a multi-cultural place now, and we celebrate our diversity, our
cultures, our religions, and our ways of life. One thing brings us together--crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing us together but it has to be in an electronic form, not face to face. UYES is uniquely positioned to create powerful messaging through posters, video, and photography. We are the only ones who can do this in the languages of the residents. Typically, our communities do not watch the local or national TV. Maine's communities of color typically
learn 85-90% of their news from YouTube. We upload our work to YouTube and Facebook, posting regular updates
to inform, calm, prepare, boost, feed, and educate the people. We also create videos at the behest of other non-profits, businesses, and educational institutions. Between March and August of 2020 we produced over 50 such videos, by far the most of any organization in the wider region. We are the leading organization educating immigrant communities in the area. We are not stopping there, we intend to keep going and do more and more as the needs arise.