Did you know Harrisonburg, Virginia is home to many refugees from countless countries all around the world? Harrisonburg has a heavy presence in the refugee resettlement process, activism, and advocacy. There are two organizations located right here in the ‘burg that are great resources not only for anyone going through the resettlement process but also for existing residents who are interested in helping.
Church World Service
CWS in Harrisonburg has been responsible for resettling refugees since 1988, with people from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Burma, Colombia, Congo (Kinshasa), Croatia, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. CWS’ staff is not only multicultural but also multilingual and work to help refugees adjust to their new lives in the United States of America. Under an agreement with the US State Department, CWS helps new refugees with housing, employment, ESL, education, and health. Their main focus is to help individuals live independently and make a smooth transition to American culture. Staff members and volunteers passionately work to provide safe housing, furniture, food, clothing, doctor appointments, social security services, enrolling children in school, and employment for parents.
“Our primary goal is to help the refugee form long lasting relationships in the community which become the basis of self-sufficiency. In order to reach this goal a family must be able to maintain their own basic needs in a sustainable lifestyle. Our program provides a bridge from their former life in their home country to a new set of cultural, linguistic, and practical skills that will enable them to be successful in Harrisonburg” (www.harrisonburgrefugees.com)
In addition to all the practical help the organization offers, CWS staff members and volunteers have a true passion for the work they do. Volunteers give rides, teach ESL and cultural classes three times a week, and do in-home tutoring. If you are interested in learning more about Church World Service or becoming a CWS volunteer visit their website and Facebook page, linked below!
CWS Website: http://harrisonburgrefugees.com
Rocktown Rallies is a brand new organization that was founded in September 2015 right here in Harrisonburg, Virginia! Rocktown Rallies is a group of Harrisonburg residents who have a passion for helping Syrian refugees. In addition to the Syrian refugee crisis, Rocktown Rallies is also interested in helping refugees in the community and around the world.
“Our hope is that our combined efforts will make resettlement easier for diverse refugees arriving in our community; that our advocacy will make a difference in local, state, and national policies regarding Syrian refugees; and that our service will demonstrate that good things happen for refugees and our communities when we work together” (www.rocktownrallies.org)
Rocktown Rallies welcomes anyone who is interested in their cause. The organization focuses on fundraising, advocacy, and local refugee support. Working with Save the Children, Rocktown Rallies hosts fundraising events to raise money for any affected persons. The organization is also a huge advocate, especially for Syrian refugees. Rocktown Rallies participates in local and national talk regarding the refugee crisis. They also encourage people to urge politicians to support refugees and refugee resettlement. Finally, Rocktown Rallies is very active in local refugee support. Rocktown Rallies works closely with Church World Service in Harrisonburg to support refugee resettlement.
For more information on how you can get involved with Rocktown Rallies, visit their website and Facebook page!
Rocktown Rallies Website: http://www.rocktownrallies.org
With proper knowledge, awareness, activism, and advocacy we can work together to make a change.