In their effort to escape war or persecution, refugees experience a life-or-death struggle to reach a UN Refugee Camp. There they wait for years for approval to go to a safe home in San Diego, where they face further challenges. These include learning a new language, adapting to a new culture, and finding a way to support themselves. RefugeeNet is dedicated to assisting refugees in that process. This Episcopal non-profit organization has been helping the refugee community for over 20 years. www.refugee-net.org.
Applicants are thoroughly screened by the UN, the State Department, and Homeland Security. A U.S.-based Resettlement Agency must then provide a “Sponsorship Assurance” for each individual. It’s a long and complicated process, usually taking 18 to 24 months from the time of a UN referral. This congress-mandated program requires assistance from public and private organizations and thousands of individuals to welcome and assist refugees from around the world.
Since 2011, Holy Cross has been a partner in this vital ministry, helping to serve refugee families from Sudan, Burma and Bhutan, and other countries, who, having been forced into refugee status in their homeland, come traumatized and with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Over the years, Holy Cross has donated more than three TONS of rice, 2,000 pounds of beans and 200 gallons of cooking oil to lighten the burden on those who seek to make a new home in San Diego.
Once each year, usually in July, Holy Cross seeks donations of rice and cooking oil from members and the community. For those who would rather support the ministry financially, we provide an online giving link, and receive checks and cash designated for RefugeeNet.
Holy Cross also participates in a weekly tutoring program for young refugee children at St. Mark’s, San Diego. For two hours on Tuesday afternoons, young students come to St. Mark’s for tutoring.
For more information, please contact Mike Collier through the Church Office.