We have been blown away by our CoMoGives campaign this year. Literally tears in our eyes because of your generosity. We will start 2023 strong, thanks to you. But we will continue to need your support as we design our programs and services to meet the needs we see each day.
A few weeks ago, I sat down with two gentlemen from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both have lived in the United States for over a decade, but both were sharing about the needs their people continually face as they adjust to life here. Their concerns were for their children, their friends’ children, strangers’ children. Children who have grown up in refugee camps – camps where there are no cell phones, no iPads, no technology. Camps where kids advance to a new grade only when they have passed the current one. When these same children are resettled in America, they are given tablets to do their schoolwork, they are assigned grades based on their ages – despite their academic level. They generally learn conversational English quickly, but that doesn’t always mean that learning how to read it and write it comes as easily. Parents, with language and cultural barriers, struggle to keep up with how their kids are doing in school, what the challenges are, and how to raise their children on foreign soil in a foreign culture.
I longed to have some sort of super power that day – one where I could snap my fingers and solve all the problems I was hearing.
The only consolation I had was knowing that we, as City of Refuge, were taking steps to help stand in the gap. We are building up our Education department, putting efforts and energy into growing our teenage youth program, and planning to launch a preschool in fall 2023. They aren’t problems we can fix overnight, but they are challenges that we can actively step into, working toward solutions as we hear the needs and find the resources to meet those needs.
This is where you come in.
We still welcome (and rely on!) any and all year-end gifts, knowing that those will make a difference in the lives of each person we serve and how we can strategically plan and prepare for 2023. These gifts give us momentum as we work toward making a difference in the lives of refugee youth, as we come alongside their parents, as we provide resources, education, and support to many who are still reeling.
Thank you for thinking of our mission in your year-end giving. Thank you for considering our ask, and for remembering our refugee friends as they navigate the unimaginable every single day.