The theme for World Refugee Day this year is "A New Home, a New Life". Bridge Refugee Services will recognize and celebrate World Refugee Day on Wednesday, an annual commemoration since 2001, as a community who has resettled over 700 refugees.
All refugees flee their country of origin due to persecution that stems from a variety of reasons, but upon arrival in a new country all refugees want and need the same thing, a new home and a new life. Today we recognize their plight, their resilience, and their willingness to join communities and make them their own.
The community of Chattanooga has continually providing opportunities for refugees to create a new home and new life here. There were 77 refugees who resettled here in the year 2011.
Bridge Refugee Services is an ecumenical, nonprofit organization which facilitates the resettlement of refugees in East Tennessee, with offices in Knoxville and Chattanooga. Bridge is dedicated to supporting refugee families and asylum-seekers in their efforts to achieve economic and social self-sufficiency.
Bridge is the East Tennessee affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministries, one of nine national agencies that partners with the U.S. Department of State to resettle refugees in America. Bridge assists refugees by arranging housing, job interviews, English language instruction and other basic social needs. Through Bridge, more than 700 refugees from Burundi, Bosnia, Cuba, Sudan, Colombia, Somalia, Iraq, Vietnam, the Ukraine and elsewhere have been successfully resettled in the Chattanooga area since 1996.. In 2012, Bridge’s Chattanooga office expects to resettle as many as 60 more refugees with the assistance of numerous community partners.
For more information, visit www.bridgerefugeeschatt.org or contact Marina Peshterianu at 954-1911.