Shifting Dynamics in Serving Refugees
Raleigh is a landing pad for refugees from four of the most severe crises areas around the globe: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Burma. The Cedar Point apartments become home to many of these refugees, and over the past year, the demographics of that apartment complex have been changing significantly. More and more families have moved in from the Congo, Afghanistan and other countries.
As the number of Central Asian and African families has continued to increase, the number of Karen families has slowly decreased, as many have moved away to join family in other states or pursue job offers elsewhere.
There are other changes going on as well as Christians around Raleigh are jumping in to help these refugees. There’s a Korean church that teaches ESL classes. Another church close to the apartments provides after-school help and Awana on Sunday nights for elementary students. Families and singles are moving into the apartments as unofficial missionaries, loving and serving a needy segment of Raleigh’s population.
As we have evaluated these changes in cooperation with the leadership of the Karen community, we have decided it’s time for some changes to occur in the way that we serve as well. There are three big shifts that we’re kicking off this semester.
1. Narrowing Focus. We will be focusing on providing tutoring assistance to high school students. There are many avenues for elementary and middle school students to receive homework help, but there is a huge gap in providing the more detailed help that high school students need. We want to focus our attention on filling this gap.
2. Expanding Focus. In order to maintain a manageable size group, our attention has always been limited to Karen students. However, the number of Karen has decreased so that we can now reasonably expand our help to other nationalities as well. We want to provide tutoring for any interested high school students living in the Cedar Point apartments.
3. Changing Locations. Our tutoring program on Wednesday nights will begin meeting at the community center at the apartment complex rather than here at Christ Covenant. This will allow for more involvement from parents
To kickoff this semester,we will be hosting a community cookout at the apartments on Wed, Aug 19 at 6:00pm. To volunteer to help with tutoring or the cookout, please contact Chrissy Curry (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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