1) Who is a refugee?
According to the United Nations, “A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.
2) Why can’t they return home?
In many cases, refugees might prefer to return to their home country. They become refugees due to fear of being persecuted by their own government. It takes years, sometimes decades for a situation to improve, once someone has fled out of the country it is often almost impossible for them to return home.
3) What is it like to live in the refugee camp?
People leave behind their homes, property, in some cases all belongings when they flee. Refugee camps across the world are managed by the UN’s refugee agency called the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Refugee camps vary around the world.
4) How are they vetted before their resettlement in the U.S.?
Receiving Refugee Status to enter the United States of America requires exceptional scrutiny. Refugees undergo a rigorous set of screening procedures in order to be admitted into the United States. Please see the link below to learn more about the refugee process.
5) Is United States the only country that resettles refugees?
No. There are other western countries that resettle refugees each year including Canada, Australia, Norway, United Kingdom. The number of refugees admitted varies from country to country.
6) Where can I learn more about refugees and current U.S. government policies?
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration under the U.S. Department of State
Office of Refugee Resettlement/
ABOUT THE AGENCY
7) What exactly does Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency (CRRA) do?
Since the mid-1990s, the agency under HIAS has been resettling refugees to Charlotte. CRRA was founded in 2011, as a non-profit organization with the 501c3 status. Our sole purpose is to resettle refugees coming to Charlotte. We are affiliated with the HIAS, one of several National Agencies that accepts and places refugees to affiliate offices across the country. Once refugees arrive in Charlotte, the agency is responsible to assist with the local integration process which includes but is not limited to: finding housing, applying for social benefits, finding them employment and moving toward self-sufficiency within a short window of time.
8) Why do refugees come to Charlotte?
After a refugee has been officially approved to legally enter the United States by the Department of Homeland Security, CRRA’s National Agency, HIAS, forwards the names of incoming arrivals to our office. Determining who may come to Charlotte is based on the refugees ties in the area and the services CRRA can provide locally.
9) How many refugees does CRRA assist each year?
The agency’s goal is to resettle over 200 new arrivals this year. The agency also offers extended employment services, case management and immigration legal services to refugees and asylees who have been in the county for up to five years. With that in mind, CRRA may be currently be working with well over 700 people annually.
10) What other services do you provide?
Aside from the initial refugee resettlement service period of 90 days, the agency may also provide employment and case management for up to 5 years. The agency also has immigration legal services and citizenship preparation classes.
11) How can I help?
CRRA appreciates your consideration to be involved in the refugee resettlement process. The agency is always in need of volunteers who are willing drive clients to appointments, interpret, sort donations and assist with apartment set-ups, among other things. For more information please visit the Volunteer Page.
12) It seems CRRA could be an ideal organization for an internship. How do I proceed?
Yes, dozens of students have interned with CRRA. Please send the agency your resume and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information please visit the Internship page.
13) What can I donate?
CRRA appreciates your willingness to make a donation. We accept furniture and household items or cash donations. To make donations of furniture and household items, please visit the Donations page for more information. Cash donations are accepted through the PayPal icon at the top of this page.
14) I might be interested to serve as a board member. What do I do?
Thank you for considering to serve on the CRRA Board of Directors. Please feel free to email us your resume and a cover letter at: email@example.com. When a vacancy is available and if your skills meet the agency’s needs, you will be contacted. Please remember that this would be an unpaid position with significant commitments.
15) Are there any job opportunities at CRRA?
The agency is a small, yet growing organization. For job inquiries please send your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CRRA staff is available to answer further questions.
Please feel free to email or call us at: email@example.com, 704-535-8803.