“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.
Update: In recent weeks we have been overwhelmed by the generosity and concern of our Chapel Hill-Carrboro community in response to President Trump’s Executive Order to suspend the refugee resettlement program. We are heartened by the surge in volunteer applications and financial and material goods donations. Thank you. Please continue to advocate for fair and welcoming policies for refugees by contacting your representatives in Congress and tweeting@realDonaldTrump & POTUS.