CanopyNWA is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization started by Northwest Arkansas residents who are working to create a place of refuge for people fleeing persecution due to race, membership in a particular social group, political opinion, religion, or national origin.
Increasingly, refugees from all over the world must relocate as a result of political, religious, ethnic, or socio-cultural conflict. Many of us are have seen the haunting images of refugees drowning in the Mediterranean, walking across Eastern Europe on foot, and sleeping next to barbed-wire fences. The UNHCR Global Trends Report states that in 2015, 65.3 million people, i.e., one person in 113, were displaced from their homes as a result of persecution and conflict.
Accordingly, the U.S. government has increased the number of refugees permitted to relocate here, and therefore many of the long-standing national resettlement agencies are over-saturated and in need of new location sites for refugees. Northwest Arkansas (NWA) is a highly attractive region for refugee resettlement due to its variety of employment options, robust social services, and low cost of living.
In response to this gap in refugee services, Canopy NWA formed as an official non-profit after reaching out to the greater NWA community and finding an abundance of talented individuals who desire to support refugee resettlement efforts. As an organization, Canopy has experienced overwhelming support from various people and organizations in the resettlement process from the local level to the national level.
There are many components to resettling refugees such as a place to live, schools for children, healthcare access, a welcoming community, and a whole host of other needs. Canopy’s goal is to create a comprehensive network that connects refugee families to everything they need to build a new life here. Canopy believes that Northwest Arkansas is one of the best places in the country to accept refugees into its community; in turn, refugees will benefit our community by stimulating the area’s economy through creating new business, paying taxes, purchasing goods and services from local businesses, and volunteering for the benefit of our community.