Our many new readers may not know that the US State Department has agreed to a UN request to resettle 50,000 or so impoverished, uneducated, (mostly) women from DR Congo over a period of several years.
This is an informative article from Episcopal News Service that basically reports how needy these refugees are.
It is also interesting to me because we rarely see articles about refugee resettlement contractor Episcopal Migration Ministries, one of the top nine. Apparently they are less media savvy as they rarely turn up in news stories (like this one) intended to be puff pieces on refugees.
We previously reported on the great need for mental health services for women from DR Congo, here.
From Episcopal News Service:
A Congolese refugee, Zaburiya arrived in Tucson seven months ago with five children, aged 10 to 26, after spending 18 years in a refugee camp in Rwanda.
Illiterate and not speaking a word of English, she became a member of a women’s empowerment group operated by Refugee Focus, which receives support from The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s Episcopal Migration Ministries service through funding from the United States government’s Office of Refugee Resettlement.
(The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society is the legal and canonical name under which The Episcopal Church is incorporated, conducts business, and carries out mission.)***
Through Episcopal Migration Ministries, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society partners with 30 resettlement affiliates in 26 dioceses nationwide. It is one of nine agencies working in partnership with the U.S. Department of State to welcome and resettle refugees to the United States.
For the umpteenth time, the UN is picking our refugees!
In 2014, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society and its partners worked to resettle 5,155 of the tens of thousands of refugees who came to the United States through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) screening process.
Over the next several years, UNHCR plans to resettle 50,000 refugees from the Congo, with 70 to 90 percent to be resettled to the United States, said Kurt Bonz, Episcopal Migration Ministries’ program manager…
“Most of the refugees have been in camps an average of 20 years, education is low, and many are single women with children who continue to experience trauma related to living in the Congo, the journey out and living in a refugee camp,” he said.
There is a lot in this story, read it all here.
So who are these refugees from DR Congo and where are they going?
I checked the State Department’s data base for the following dates: 10/1/2012 through 2/28/2015 and this is what I found:
We resettled 9,022 Congolese refugee “seedlings” in that approximate 2 and 1/2 year period. Most were Christians of some sort, but I was surprised to learn that 356 were Muslims (from DR Congo?).
Then here is a list of the states that received over 200 Congolese refugees over that same 2 and 1/2 year time period (apparently all of these states have run out of American poor people to care for):
New Hampshire (260)
New York (325)
North Carolina (379)
Texas (1078) Working hard to turn Texas blue!
*** When you visit this post, you will see more about why this structure of the Episcopal Migration Ministries makes it hard to track their finances. They must be claiming they are a ‘church’ and as such do not have to do a Form 990.