DFID-supported camps for refugees from DRC in Uganda. Andy Wheatley/DFID. April 2013

Contact: Linda Sander     Email: social justice

Description: UCWC is partnering with local faith organizations and individuals to resettle a refugee family in our local community.

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The sponsoring organization is Church World Service (CWS) in Lancaster. CWS is one of nine domestic non-governmental organizations that assists refugees in cooperation with the State Department. UCWC is joining them with other local faith organizations to cosponsor a refugee family to be resettled in our area.

The purpose of the program is to provide support and services to assist newcomers to our community in building lives in peace and dignity in the United States.The primary financial challenges for settling a family are finding affordable housing and a job. Families also face difficulties adapting to the language, culture, and structure of American life. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is not uncommon.

As partners, our coalition is expected to provide startup expenses for housing, groceries, and other needed items. Volunteers can help with these committees (chairs in parentheses):

  • Housing & Material Goods (Abdul Mughees, Islamic Society of Chester County, & Lauren Buckalew, Birmingham Meeting)
  • Transportation (Shelly Case, UCWC, & Gwynne Ormsby, Birmingham Meeting)
  • Orientation (Susan Brodesser, Birmingham Meeting)
  • Education & ESL (Lori Ratajczak, UCWC)
  • Employment (Sandy Gera, UCWC)
  • Fundraising & Finance (Gwynne Ormsby, Birmingham Meeting)
  • Online Oversight (Lauren Buckalew, Birmingham Meeting)
  • Public Relations (Steven Crisafulli, community volunteer, & Arlene Rengert, Grove Methodist)

There’s a lot of work yet to be done. To download the Church World Service time line and task list, click here.

Financial donations are welcome. Please write a check to “UCWC” with “Refugee Resettlement” in the memo line. Put it in the collection plate, or mail it to UCWC, 501 S. High Street, West Chester, PA 19382

The family has now been here for six months, and they are becoming more independent. The parents and oldest daughter have part time jobs with Aramark food services at West Chester University. The father has learned to use the bus to go to his other job at Shop Rite and is in interested in learning to drive.

Areas where help is still needed are transportation for after school sports, teaching the mother to use the bus, and tutoring. To offer help, contact Shelly Case (transportation), Lori Ratajczak  (tutoring), and Sandy Gera (employment). They can be reached at email: refugee-resettlement.

UCWC is part of the West Chester Area Refugee Resettlement Project. The next Resettlement Committee meeting is Wed., March 29, 2017 at 7 p.m. at Birmingham Meeting.

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Click HERE to download/view flyer.