Roughly 450 refugees are resettled to Santa Clara County each year, the majority coming through Catholic Charities as “free cases”. These are singles and families who have been approved for resettlement to the U.S. but do not have relatives or friends to sponsor them. Catholic Charities provides this service. We as a church help provide hospitality and sense of community to our new neighbors.
Refugees are people who, because of war, religious intolerance, and cultural oppression are forced to flee their homes, leaving behind all they have known for an uncertain future. There are roughly 13 million refugees in the world today. The majority are women and children. Most refugees move home to their communities when peace and stability return to their country. Resettlement in a third country, such as the United States, is the last option, and is available to only a tiny fraction of the world's refugees.
Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church in partnership with Refugee Transitions will host a Summer Enrichment Camp for refugee youth the weeks of July 22 and August 5. Refugee Transitions will provide English classes, art therapy, science and math projects, and Soccer Without Borders for kindergarten to grade 12. This is a great opportunity for Safe Church Trained volunteers to meet and mentor kids from around the world.
If you are able to help with lunch preparation, classroom help, or transportation please contact Coleen Hausler. Volunteers must have Safe Church training to assist in the classroom and/or transportation.
Phone | 408-245-3515
Our church provides financial assistance and volunteer support to Catholic Charities’ “hospitality house” in Sunnyvale. Here, refugees can stay for the first 4-6 weeks upon arrival. This gives newcomers a chance to complete some of the administrative tasks of resettlement, attend English classes, and find a job before transitioning on to more permanent housing.
We are very excited to let you know that our new refugee family arrived September 6 - Mom, Dad and 6 kids - to a very joyous reunion with their daughter, Nadine. The family fled from war-torn Burundi to refugee camps in Tanzania where they spent several years before being allowed to come here to be with Nadine. Nadine is 20 years old and was given a special refugee visa two years ago due to medical needs and has received ongoing medical care.
We would love you to join our team of helpers to wrap our arms around this family, and help them find their way in this new country and community. We have some great people on board already with many different talents to share.
On our blog you can follow the journey of Nadine and her family from their arrival and reunion with Nadine to their adaptation of Silicon Valley life.
Here’s how you may be able to help with any of the refugee families we help settle into the Bay Area:
- Organize welcome packs for their arrival
- Stock their new home with groceries
- Drive them to appointments
- Teach the parents or children English (no experience needed)
- Just be a friend and companion to these families whose only lives thus far may have been in refugee camps.
What a lot they have to learn to become self-sufficient in our community! Think and pray about how you can help them on their journey, whether it’s giving a few minutes or a few hours a week and whether it’s just the one time or an ongoing service.
To find out more, please contact:
Phone | 408-737-1252
In October of 2008 our church donated the funding and office space for San Francisco-based non-profit Refugee Transitions to expand their services to the South Bay. Since 1982, Refugee Transitions has been equipping volunteers to tutor English, mentor and provide friendship to refugees who are in need of cultural and language orientation. We are delighted to be providing support in this crucial step towards integration into Bay Area life.
What began as a desire for Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church to expand its mission focus has become a network of faith & community organizations who are working together to serve our new neighbors. This partnership approach has become an effective way to pool resources and knowledge in order to help meet the needs of the refugees.
We have been privileged to meet people whose stories and trials are humbling us, changing the way we see the world, and making God's work all the more powerful as we see God's hand in this ministry every day.
To learn more about how you, your family or your group can become more involved with this exciting and important ministry, contact us or click here to enter the Refugee Outreach Partnership website. Feel free to share this video or this local newspaper article with a friend.
Elsa Amboy and Melissa Kreisa, Refugee Ministry Advocates, San José Presbytery
Phone | 408-739-1892