(Click on photo above to see video of two Walking Tour participants learning to use the book drop at the North Hill Branch Library.)
In May of 2014 the International Institute of Akron (IIA) began holding Walking Tours for newly arrived refugees of the North Hill neighborhood of Akron. Often, refugees are hesitant to explore their neighborhood on their own because of communication barriers, and must rely on friends and family members to help them meet their daily needs. The Walking Tours encourage self-dependence by giving them a safe and supportive way to become more familiar with their neighborhood. The Walking Tours, which were inspired by a similar program at the International Institute of New England, have two main goals. The first is to familiarize recently resettled refugees with the various businesses and services in the North Hill neighborhood. The second goal is to increase awareness among local businesses of the unique needs of the refugee population.