Every year, millions of refugees are driven from their homes and communities by armed conflict, gross human rights violations, and fear of persecution. They risk desert heat, defy the dangers of crossing borders, brave choppy seas and endure the squalor of refugee camps – all for the chance to live in freedom and peace. We are called to respond to the needs of these refugees.
Refugees are people outside of the United States seeking protection from feared persecution in their homeland. Nebraska´s refugee population has arrived from Southeast Asia and Vietnam, the former Soviet Union, Bosnia, the Middle East and Africa. Most recently, LFS embraced hundreds of people fleeing Afghanistan and the Ukraine and helped them find new lives in Nebraska and Iowa.
All refugees undergo a rigorous screening process prior to entering the U.S. Once approved for refugee status, refugees come to the U.S. through Voluntary Agencies (VOLAGs) who partner directly with the U.S. Department of State. VOLAGs affiliate with organizations across the nation. LFS partners with two VOLAGs, Church World Service and Global Refuge, formerly Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. The VOLAGs assign refugees to affiliate offices in local areas based on several factors, including:
- Reunification of family members
- Community’s capacity to work with certain ethnic minorities
- Cost of living
- Employment opportunities