What is a refugee?
- In order to be considered a refugee by the United Nations, decider of a refugee new home, one must be fleeing their country to escape from war, persecution or other violence.
What is World Relief?
- World Relief is a national organization that brings refugees from around the world to the U.S. and helps them integrate into america's society. They welcome and resettle thousands of refugees referred by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in the United States each year. World Relief is both federally funded and a non-profit organization that depends on donations and volunteer work. It started out as the War Relief Commission in 1944, with the purpose of aiding victims of WWII. From there, World Relief has and will continue to help thousands of refugees around the world. "Displaced people" are families and individuals that can no longer live safely in their country; as a result, they are labeled as refugees and forced to leave the country they once called home. The organization provides the refugees with a home, counseling and other needs the help them integrate into the United States as smoothly as possible.
- These are some of the basic things that World Relief donates to refugees. Donations can be made at worldrelief.org/give (Photo Courtesy of World Relief)
How do refugees end up at World Relief?
- Historically, the U.S. has resettled refugees into America for many years. Congress passed the Refugee Act 1980, which formalized the process of resettling refugees. This process allowed the government to decide where each individual will resettle in the U.S. In order to be granted by the U.S. refugee program, the refugee must be registered by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Once determined a refugee by the UNHCR, the individual refugee or family can be selectively picked by U.S. representative. Next, the refugee must go through America's intense vetting process. This process can take up to 7 years, during which the refugees reside at camps. According to The New York Times, the U.S. vetting process is one of the most in-depth and rigorous vetting process in the world. Once the vetting process is complete, the refugee is able to enter the U.S. through one of nine organizations funded by the U.S government, which includes World Relief. World Relief doesn't choose individuals or families, the federal government sends them over to one of the 25 locations around the nation. From there, refugees are embedded into the organization and start to learn how to live a new life. This includes the introduction of jobs, legal services and an education.
Travis Trice, Behind the Scenes and Hands On
- Travis Trice has devoted 5 years to World Relief hoping to make a difference in the international refugee. Trice started out volunteering for the program after his work as a youth minister. He wanted to find a way to connect people to global problems and help in the process. After a few years of volunteering, Trice began working as World Relief’s Church Relations Coordinator in Jacksonville, Florida.
- A few years later, Trice took in his first family, they were from Iraq. The family had been through so much, the father was killed in front of the son. But, once under his wing, their resettlement process was easier. Now, all family members are U.S citizens and have thanked Travis for all he helped them accomplish. When asked why he took the refugees in, he responded, "We all have the same fundamental goal, the human need for survival and some just have it easier than others. As a christian and a human being I feel it is my duty to help all of those in need."
Q&A with Trice
- On March 7, Trice video chatted Leesville's English II students to answer questions many of them had about the controversial topic.
- Q: Is World Relief funded by U.S. tax dollars?
- A: "Yes. World Relief is partially funded by U.S. tax dollars, as is the U.S refugee program. The taxes for the refugee programs are very small compared to most taxes and only 1/2 goes directly to the refugees. The cost to resettle refugees is not completely paid for by tax dollars. Each refugee represents 2000 dollars given to by the the U.S government to help them resettle. Of the $2000, $1100 goes to basic necessities such as, food, water and rent. This money has to last the refugee 3 month, after that they must find a job with help from World Relief. Many items needed are donated so their the money can last a little longer. The other 900 goes to the program and the allows the World Relief workers to get paid."
- Research: According to Refugee Resettlement, in 2012, World Relief was 68% funded by taxpayer dollars and received $38,817,939 in government grants and contracts.