Our Mission Statement is “striving to improve the lives of refugees.”
We are a non-denominational, interfaith affiliate office of Episcopal Migration Ministries (“EMM”), http://www.episcopalmigrationministries.org, which is one of nine agencies authorized to resettle refugees in the United States. While our office, located in Charleston, WV was preliminarily authorized in December 2016 by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration to possibly resettle approximately 85 refugees per fiscal year beginning in October of 2017, the decision was made by the U.S. State Department in the Summer of 2017 to resettle refugees through EMM only through some of its other affiliate offices, and not through WVIRM.
Accordingly, WVIRM is currently assisting refugees in ways other than direct resettlement. Instead, we are engaged in projects such as assisting other resettlement agencies, funding a tutor in a refugee camp in Lebanon, helping school libraries to obtain children’s books that promote understanding of refugee children’s lives and other similar projects. We are considering additional projects to assist refugees, both those recently resettled or in the process of resettling elsewhere in the United States and those who are in refugee camps abroad. We are also engaged in community education about the refugee crisis worldwide.
While we do hope to someday assist in resettlement of refugees in our beautiful home state of West Virginia, we currently have no prospects of doing so.
Why Would Refugee Resettlement Be Good for WV?
- West Virginia is losing population – 4,600 residents left WV last year.
- Syrian refugees are highly skilled and educated in the fields of medicine, nursing,
- engineering, pharmacy, education – they can fill workplace gaps and create jobs.
- Syrian Refugees are known to be drug free, with a strong work ethic.
- WV has a sizable Syrian American community that is ready to help.
Would the Resettlement of Refugees in WV Be Safe?
- Refugees undergo more rigorous screening/vetting than anyone else allowed into the United States.
- It takes up to 2-3 years to clear refugees before they can be selected to come to the US.
What Do We Need From our Political Leaders?
- Compassion for the 25 million refugees worldwide (half of whom are children) and pressure on the Administration to admit well-vetted refugees