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WORLD REFUGEE DAY 2023: Sangar's story and John White's call to help

“In the Middle East, for journalists, everything is in conflict.”
Sangar faced a choice: compromise his journalistic integrity or forfeit his life. He fled Iraq and arrived in Lincoln this past winter. His life here is different in many ways, including one significant change: he lives alone, as the rest of his family was left behind. “My subconscious is hurting every day because my family is not here,” Sangar says, and you can see that pain behind his hesitant smile. The adjustment to life on his own has been tremendous. In fact, when asked, “What would you tell someone who wants to help newly-arrived refugees but doesn’t know how?” Sangar’s answer is immediate: “Please volunteer to help them integrate.” He had to master many new skills to live independently- how to open a bank account, cook a meal, and integrate into a culture very different from Iraq. He appreciates the support of CSS team member Crystal, who met him at the airport on that chilly January night. And he is very grateful for cultural orientation classes, such as the one taught by CSS volunteer John White.
“There are lots of problems in the world today. This is one way I can help. These are people in need that you can actually help.”
CSS volunteer John White teaches orientation classes and helps set up apartments for new arrivals. He has long felt a desire to help refugees feel welcome. In fact, it’s part of how John lives his faith. “Catholic social teaching is the bedrock of my faith in action,” he said. John is also impressed with how welcoming a community Lincoln is. People here are willing to “do what it takes” to make others feel accepted.
Will you answer the call to join John and welcome arrivals like Sangar to #HopeintheGoodLife? We need more partners to teach cultural orientation and English as Second Language (ESL) classes and volunteers to turn housing into homes for newly-arrived neighbors. Begin at Thank you!
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