Welcoming up to 100 Somali refugees

Join World Relief Minnesota in Welcoming Somali Refugees

World Relief Minnesota will be resettling 100 Somali refugees in the Twin Cities between May and September 2010.

Continued need to resettle Somali refugees.
The three camps in Dadaab, Kenya, are home to more than 160,000 refugees and have housed refugees for over 15 years starting with the flight of refugees from Somalia in 1991. Many of the people living in the camps have lived in Dadaab for over a decade, unable to return to homes still embroiled in chaos.

In the past year, increased violence in Somalia has led to a sharp influx of new refugees, as many as 1,000 a day entering Kenya. And there will be more – clashes between government troops and Islamist insurgents have displaced more than 55,000 people from Mogadishu since the beginning of February. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are an estimated 1.4 million Somalis displaced and scattered across the country.

Somalis now arriving don’t have family or friends to assist them.
Most Somalis who now live in Minnesota came to the United States as refugees. About one-third of Minnesota’s Somali residents came directly from refugee camps; others settled first in another state and then relocated to Minnesota. Whereas in the past most refugees who resettled in Minnesota did so because of a connection to family or friends, World Relief Minnesota is now preparing to receive refugees who have no “U.S. ties” – they have no family or friends to join.

World Relief is looking for churches and individuals to help welcome these families.
We believe this represents a unique opportunity for the church to provide a Christ-like welcome to families in a critical moment – when they first arrive. Coming alongside families and building friendships during this time can have a huge impact on these families’ adjustment and their futures. All-too-often, we meet Somalis who have been in the U.S. for ten or more years, speak English, but say they have never been in the home of an American or had an American friend.

We are inviting Twin Cities’ churches to provide a warm welcome to these new neighbors who are arriving with no family or fiends awaiting them. To find out more about the specific ways you, your church, or your small group can join World Relief Minnesota in welcoming these Somali families, visit our website and contact our Volunteer Coordinator at mnvolunteers@wr.org