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Refugee Resettlement: Positive Integration in Kansas

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This is the final part of our three-part series explaining the process of refugee resettlement in Wichita. In the first month, part 1 covered the basics of who refugees are and initial resettlement in the U.S. Last month, part 2 focused on the first 24 months after arrival. This month, the deep dive will describe just a few of the programs and services offered to refugees and New Americans beyond resettlement. 

Once acclimated to their new environment, a majority refugees thrive and contribute to their communities, building their careers, purchasing homes, building businesses, and gaining citizenship. The IRC in Wichita provides a variety of programs and services as refugees and New Americans strive for these accomplishments, including: 

ESL Classes—taught weekly in the IRC office and through one-on-one in-home tutors—allow refugees and other immigrant populations, regardless of how long they have been in the United States, to increase their English abilities. With improved English abilities, refugees are better equipped to integrate into the community, further their education, and progress professionally.

Career Development helps refugees who are looking to further their careers and education by offering one-on-one meetings to make and achieve development goals, including completing their GED and a variety of specialization courses, like CDL exam practice.

Financial Coaching provides courses and one-on-one coaching on how to understand, manage, and grow personal finances in the U.S. Refugees learn to use essential financial tools to help pay bills, open bank accounts, protect against fraud, apply for loans, and file taxes. The financial coach provides one-on-one empowerment-based mentoring to help individuals progress and thrive financially.This is a new program which will be launched in late 2020.

Immigration Services—provided through a U.S. Department of Justice accredited immigration specialist—assist former refugees and other immigrant populations with legal representation. After one year of being in the United States, refugees are eligible to apply for their green card, and then four years later they can apply for citizenship. The IRC in Wichita helps hundreds of immigrants apply for citizenship each year.

Photo: IRC

Refugees must rebuild their lives from traumatic and tragic circumstances. They embrace their newly adopted homeland with tremendous energy and success. They go on to work, attend universities, build professions, purchase homes, raise children, and contribute to their communities. Ultimately refugees obtain citizenship and become fully participating members of society. They become Americans.

You can provide a gift of welcome in support of refugees in the Sunflower State and in support of our work here at the International Rescue Committee in Wichita. Give today: Rescue.org/GiveWichita