Rebuilding Community Through Friendship.
OneRefuge is based on a very simple idea: Life changes are difficult, and friends and support networks make the transition a great deal easier.
Moving to a new country is a disorientating experience for anyone, especially if you don’t know the language. While the government provides significant help, there are still gaps in the support infrastructure for resettlement. OneRefuge exists as a grassroots effort by local communities to empower, engage and integrate refugee families into their new community.
OneRefuge started when our founders began connecting with Syrian families resettling in the Seattle area. As resettlement agencies were generally overwhelmed at the time by a flood of newcomers, we started filling the gaps as we built friendships. Our new neighbors help in the little things: homework tutoring, using microwaves, sorting through mail, job hunting and even just grocery shopping. Helping our friends navigate day-to-day life here might seem trivial in the long scheme of things, but we found that for the newcomers, even just tagging along with them on their errands, provided invaluable help.
We quickly realized that our new friends were helping us as much as we were helping them. Our community became richer and more beautiful as we learned to appreciate our differences and recognize our strengths. This is one of the many reasons we remain passionate about becoming more welcoming and inviting others to experience what we have.