Refugee Conference Draws 300


A conference focused on serving the growing refugee population in Boise has drawn more than 300 people to Boise State today and tomorrow. The annual refugee conference features panels on education, interpretation, mental health, food, affordable housing and more, all aimed at improving services to refugees.

There is also a refugee track at the conference and Grip blogger FBM Fidel Nshombo will lead a plenary panel tomorrow with other young refugees. Also tomorrow, keynote speaker Chris Abani, a contemporary Nigerian writer, will address the conference.

The conference is organized by the Idaho Office for Refugees, an umbrella organization serving resettlement agencies across the state.

An updated count on 2009 arrivals to Idaho shows that 1,153 refugees were restteled here last year, with the largest populations coming from Iraq and Bhutan.