Since 2016 JFSMW has taken a leading role in community-based resettlement of Syrian Refugees across Greater Boston. Our foundation proudly gave the seed funding to launch the pilot, a national model, which brings together HIAS, synagogues, and partners beyond the Jewish Community. All with a goal of helping recently resettled refugees reach self-sufficiency.
Through an innovative partnership with SNHU's College For America, we are piloting a first-of-its-kind College program specifically for individuals in the US who came as refugees. SNHU's program is a competency based, flexible and affordable option for Associates and Bachelor's degrees. We are launching at our first site, Match Beyond, in early 2018 and hoping to launch in two additional sites in 2018.
Inspired by our inspirational experience in Boston where hundreds of community members welcomed eight families, our foundation officially joined UNHCR, The Government of Canada, University of Ottawa and other foundations as partners in GRSI in 2017. GRSI seeks to help the many states and NGOs interested in allowing citizens or other private entities to directly sponsor refugees into a reality. GRSI works to support people and organizations as they manage this process and lead to successful and meaningful outcome like what we've had in Boston.
Israel is currently host to more than 38,000 asylum seekers, the majority of whom are from Sudan and Eritrea. Many of the African asylum seekers entered Israel through the Sinai after a life-threatening journey at the hands of human traffickers. Their ability to exercise basic human rights, access asylum, and live in dignity and safety in Israel has been an ongoing challenge for over a decade. We are focused on serving their most basic needs.