what we do
Refuge, as a noun, is defined as a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble. A secondary definition is “a thing that provides shelter or safety.”
For City of Refuge, the word is a verb. We are about the action of helping, providing, and sheltering. And it is our honor to provide services such as basic needs programs, education, and professional development opportunities for those arriving in our community seeking refuge.
But we also want to give them something that doesn’t have a price yet is full of concrete value. We want to provide relationships and deep friendships for refugees and immigrants to rely on as they navigate their new life of freedom.
A Refugee’s Journey
Ka Taw Dow
Ka Taw Dow was born a refugee. Her family comes from Myanmar (formerly Burma) and are part of the Karen tribe, who have a long history of war with the Burmese government. Many describe this armed coflict as one of the world’s longest civil wars. It was this persecution that caused her parents to seek refuge at the Tham Him Refugee Camp in the Ratchaburi Province of Thailand.
Sen Lay And Soe Meh's Family
This is Sen Lay and Soe Meh’s family. They arrived in Columbia about 8 years ago from a refugee camp & were connected to our programs. We have had the privilege of knowing and helping them for many years; Barry’s father even married them in Columbia Square Apartments!
Cing Cing Hlamya
Cing Cing Hlamya arrived in Columbia with her family from war-torn Myanmar in 2009. It was winter when they arrived and they had no shoes or coat. With the help of City of Refuge, they found food, jobs, and eventually bought a home!
This is the Htamdang family, Peter, Hiram, and their three children. They were persecuted and forced from their home by the government, so fled to Malaysia, living in constant fear of being arrested. Fortunately, they were relocated to the US in 2015 and then Columbia in 2018.