People rely on their homes as places of sanctuary. Unfortunately, national and global crises can cause a person's home to become unsafe. In these situations, people must sometimes flee their countries as refugees to avoid violence and persecution. When refugees arrive in the United States, they often lack the resources and knowledge needed to navigate their new environment. Refugee assistance groups strive to bridge the gap and help refugees restart their lives. These are three ways that refugee assistance nonprofits can help refugees in the United States:
1. Help refugees resettle.
Refugees often flee their countries of origin in a hurry. When people are in unsafe situations, getting away from danger is the most important priority. However, after the immediate crisis has passed, refugees must find a way to rebuild their lives in their new countries. Many refugee assistance nonprofits help people with the resettling process. Volunteers and staff members can help refugees find suitable places to live based on individual factors. When refugees have family members or friends in the country, efforts can be made to resettle them near their support system. Resettlement efforts also take into account the cultures and ethnic makeups of various cities to find places where refugees will be able to acclimate more easily.
2. Provide language assistance services.
People who seek refuge in the United States may not necessarily have had the time to improve their English language skills. Some refugees arrive in the United States knowing little to no English at all. In these situations, communicating can be a challenge. That's why some refugee assistance nonprofits provide language assistance services. Translators can help refugees understand their new situation and communicate important concepts. Refugees can also take advantage of free or low-cost language classes that will allow them to acquire the language skills they need to succeed in day-to-day life.
3. Offer counseling services.
Meeting refugees' physical needs is an important start, but alone, it is not sufficient. Seeking asylum in another country can be a stressful and harrowing experience. Some refugees have trauma from experiencing war, famine, or violence in their countries of origin. Acclimating to a new country with a different language and culture can also be a stressful process. That's why many refugee assistance nonprofits help refugees get in touch with counseling services that can help them.
Group counseling can allow refugees to find solace in other people who share their experiences. Individual counseling with a therapist who has experience working with refugee populations can encourage refugees to speak about their feelings and challenges. Letting difficult emotions out into the open can encourage the healing process and promote positive mental health.
Contact an organization that provides refugee assistance to learn more.