Refugees arrive in our community at the end of a long journey, and with the opportunity to begin a new life here. The resettlement process is long, includes rigorous security screenings and background checks, and can take decades.
Suzanne, an ESL volunteer at CWS, speaks to how the variety of stigmas and stereotypes of refugees and immigrants affects resettlement work around the US:
“I wish that the community at large understood the process of refugee resettlement and also the refugees’ responsibilities once they are here. A lot of people lump refugees, immigrants, and undocumented immigrants in one big pile. The community needs to also realize the gifts and hard work that refugees bring to the U.S. I would enjoy seeing more open interaction with refugees instead of the idea that they are ‘others’ who are interloping.”
Volunteers and staff at CWS uphold the power of community and importance of connection throughout the process of resettlement. Your time and generosity can make the biggest difference in creating new ways for our refugees to feel welcomed and connected to the Triangle community. There are many ways to support resettlement, and we would love to have you!
“We have to connect with the people who are suffering from…conflicts,” says Therese, another regular volunteer at our office, “we have to listen to their stories, to open our hearts, to welcome them in our communities when they arrive to us.”