Our Work: Refugee Resettlement
Some refugees are invited by the U.S. government to make another life-changing move: to rebuild their lives in the U.S. World Relief Durham works with local church and wider community partners to resettle these new arrivals, assisting them as they learn a new language, adjust to a new culture, and pursue employment, education and other opportunities in our community.
Once refugees have been offered the chance to start their lives over here in the U.S., local agencies like World Relief Durham prepare themselves and their community to welcome these new neighbors.
Pre-arrival: Before a new family or individual arrives, World Relief is already working to anticipate major health needs, locate an apartment, and start building community support for the new family. When refugees step off the plane, we want people at the airport to greet them, letting them know from the very beginning that they are not unwanted but valued and loved members of this community.
After Arrival: World Relief receives funding from the State Department to assist each new refugee for 90 days. Through local partnerships and support, World Relief Durham extends this time frame to the first 180 days. During this time, we help refugees apply for social security cards, register for temporary social service benefits (Medicaid, Food Stamps, Cash Assistance), enroll in school and ESL programs, learn about working in the U.S., and connect them to churches and community groups that will encourage and befriend them. Within this broad program of refugee resettlement, World Relief Durham has a few specific initiatives.
Integration: Moving beyond "self-sufficiency," World Relief fosters integration in refugee communities. Refugees who are self-sufficient are able to assist new arrivals as they adjust. Due to language barriers, interpreters become key community members who help us partner with the refugee communities in developing structures to identify, articulate and respond to their own needs.
Our Impact: World Relief seeks to equip churches to think biblically about refugees who are arriving to the Triangle and encourages them to extend Christ-like hospitality to our refugee neighbors. WRD currently has 100 churches with two or more volunteers per church partnering with us.
To learn more, you can access a presentation with 2016 refugee resettlement statistics in the Durham area by clicking here. This presentation gives information about which resettlement agencies operate in the Triangle as well as statistics on our various volunteer opportunities.