“Thank you… It is good to know someone in this country cares about me and my family.”   A Congolese refugee

The Refugee Support Center (RSC) is a 501 (c)(3), volunteer-based organization established to serve and to promote the self-sufficiency of refugees who live or work in Orange County, NC. Founded in July 2012 and recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Peace Prize, we served over 900 refugees in 2016. During their first three months after arrival, refugees are assisted by resettlement agencies which have cooperative agreements with the Department of State to provide reception and placement services to newly arrived refugees. After 90 days, these agencies typically must phase out. Our services are most often sought immediately after this ninety-day period and continue on an as-needed basis.

It is estimated that Orange County is home to approximately 1,200 refugees. The native country of over 1,100 of these refugees is Burma. The vast majority of them came from refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border, but others fled to Malaysia or India where they lived until obtaining refugee status. However, we are delighted that our clientele is becoming more diverse.We currently also work with Congolese refugees, about 50 of whom now reside in our community, and with Syrian refugees, 32 of whom have been resettled in Orange County.

The world is experiencing the largest refugee crisis in global history. An unprecedented 65.6 million have been forcibly displaced from their homes because of violence, persecution, and war. There are 22.5 registered refugees. Current US policy reduced this year’s number of refugee admissions from 95,000 to 45,000, the lowest in the history of US resettlement. At the present rate rate of admissions, it is projected that only about 25,000 will be admitted. Please see our advocacy page for what you can do.

rohingya family

Our volunteers accompany first-time voters to polls.
Parent orientation for summer camp, June, 2016.