Refugees may spend months dislocated outside of their home country, then they must go through a rigorous security screening process to enter the U.S. These materials will help you understand what many refugees have just experienced and offer resources for better understanding refugees’ ethnic backgrounds. A huge first step in loving a refugee is being able to welcome them in a way that acknowledges the difficulties they’ve had as well as the beauty of their home culture.

Office of Refugee Resettlement

Find out who is eligible for assistance from the Office of Refugee Resettlement and ways to help them integrate in the United States.

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Preparing to Volunteer with Refugees

The Foursquare Church’s Refugee Care Network actively seeks to prepare pastors and church members for volunteer work with refugees. Review this reflective document, designed for individual use, and prayerfully prepare before beginning your ministry with refugees.

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Cultural Orientation Resource Center

It’s not just refugees who need cultural orientation. Church workers do, too. The Cultural Orientation Resource Center is a one-stop shop for population backgrounders and interactive games to put yourself in a refugee’s story. Starting your involvement here will build your compassion and understanding.

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U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants’ Refugee Security Screening Process

Learn about what is involved in the rigorous process for a refugee to be granted refugee status in the U.S.

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Voluntary Agencies Contracted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement

These government-contracted agencies drive refugee resettlement activities in the U.S. Not every agency is represented in every city, but all metropolitan areas have an office of one or more of these agencies to serve refugees and recruit and equip local volunteers to assist them in the process.

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Creating a Culture of Welcome

This video, produced by Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Service, describes why volunteers are so important. The four-minute film features the many ways volunteerism transforms the lives of both refugees and volunteers.

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To Find a Friend

The Minnesota Council of Churches, an affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministries, shares the story of a volunteer-refugee friendship in action. The clip is approximately three minutes in length.

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Refugee Volunteer Recruitment Introduction Video

Welcoming America offers this nine-minute introduction for recruiting volunteers. It offers ways churches and individuals can partner with federal and local agencies.

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The Power of Relationships

World Relief’s brief documentary on the mutual friendship that developed between a volunteer and the refugee she mentored.

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