World Relief Spokane in the News

Samuel Smith: Generosity, not fear, made America a beacon of hope​ (January 6, 2019)

One man I met at the U.S.-Mexico border was jailed by his government. Another fled after protesting a dictator. Neither one is getting a fair chance to apply for asylum in the United States.

I met both men when I traveled to the southern border through World Relief, where I work as an immigration attorney, to provide legal assistance to individuals and families waiting to seek asylum in the United States.

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Spokane volunteers teach refugee children how to read, write in English

SPOKANE, Wash. — Young refugees are learning to read but Spokane volunteers said they are the ones receiving the real gift.

Every Wednesday up to 30 young refugee children sit down with a group of volunteers from First Presbyterian Church and the surrounding community for a summer reading session, thanks to a partnership with World Relief Spokane.

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Mark Finney: Welcoming refugees is what made America great (August 11, 2018)

Elise fled a civil war in Burundi, a small African nation, and applied for refugee status with the hope of finding a safe place to raise her children. Years later, in 2013, she received the news that the United States would take in most of her family. However, they would have to leave two of her children, Quinn and Jibiile, in a refugee camp with their aunts and uncles.

Elise and her husband were then faced with a choice: come to the United States and receive the medical assistance one child needed or stay in Africa to keep their family together. They decided to come to the United States, hoping that Quinn and Jibiile would soon follow.

Since coming to Spokane, Elise and her family have contributed much to our community. Her children are involved in local schools, her husband works two jobs, and Elise will soon begin the process to become a United States citizen. They have tried every available means to apply for their children to join them here in Spokane. But despite their best efforts, Elise’s family is still separated.

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KREM: World Relief numbers down under travel order (June 26, 2018)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Donald Trump’s executive order on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, rejecting a challenge that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority.

The order prevents travelers from six Muslim-majority nations from coming to the United States. It has been blocked by lower courts, but the Supreme Court allowed it to go back into effect in December 2017 as legal arguments were heard.

World Relief Spokane director Mark Finney said that the travel order, as well as a lower number of refugees admitted to the US overall, has resulted in a large drop in the number of people being resettled in the Spokane area. Finney said that 154 refugees have been placed in the Spokane area so far in fiscal year 2018, and a total of about 200 are projected by the fiscal year’s end.

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KREM: Refugees and advocates ride 400 miles to raise money for resettlement efforts (June 21, 2018)

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Nearly three dozen people from all over Washington State have embarked on quite the journey. The SEA TRI KAN Bike Ride is a 400-mile bike ride from Seattle to the Tri Cities and then on to Spokane.

The five-day cross-state bike ride raises awareness and money for refugee resettlement efforts. World Relief started the event four years ago.

Jackson Lino participated in this year’s ride. He is a former refugee from Sudan, and a resettlement specialist for World Relief Spokane.

"I wanted to take a stand as far as what's happening in the world. As a refugee myself, I have gone through some of the issues, and some of the things that current refugees are going through right now. I understand what they are feeling,” Jackson said.

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Spokesman Review: Community celebrates children at Spokane’s World Refugee Day​ (June 16, 2018)

A crowd of expectant family, friends and volunteers held back cheers as 26 immigrants from 11 countries raised their right hands to begin an oath renouncing foreign powers and pledging allegiance to the United States.

As an immigration officer called name after name, the crowd erupted as new American citizens received their certificates from Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson. For many onlookers and participants, that ceremony was the highlight of Spokane’s World Refugee Day. Others just appreciated the opportunity to watch their loved ones succeed and connect with the refugee community.

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The Inlander: A refugee family in Spokane is trying to bring their orphaned niece to live with them. Immigration law makes that nearly impossible (May 17, 2018)

Before, there were bullets, but at least she had family. Now, there are no bullets, but 11-year-old Nyabol Thok Pol has lost her family. Violence, famine and death have been unrelenting presences in her young life in South Sudan and the surrounding land. Without help, she will know nothing else.

In 2011, when Nyabol was 5, the African country of Sudan split after decades of warfare where officials estimate 2 million people were killed. Even after South Sudan declared its independence in 2013, the world's newest state erupted into its own civil war.

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KREM: World Relief hosts benefit concert for local refugees (May 11, 2018)

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A local organization is urging people to not forget about the refugee crisis.

World Relief Spokane's hosted the 'Not Forgotten Benefit Concert' Friday evening. The performers were from all walks of life some are refugees, others born here. Pingala Dhital helped make sure the concert runs smoothly. She herself knows of rough times.

"I am a Bhutanese refugee. We were brought to Nepal. We lived in the refugee camp for 18 years," she said.

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The Fig Tree: Refugees' stories are compelling (May 1, 2018)

With the power of his story as a refugee from South Sudan and the voices of children in the Neema Refugee Children’s Choir, Jackson Lino builds awareness about experiences of refugees in his role as churches and community relations coordinator with World Relief in Spokane.

“Our duty is to be an example and advocate for those who do not speak English well so we cultivate unity and respect among people in the community,” he said of his work telling his story and encouraging refugees to share their stories.

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Spokesman-Review: Refugees, students and Marshallese health all make Inslee’s Spokane agenda​ (April 27, 2018)

Igor Anisimov came from Ukraine to escape persecution for his religion and political views. Shah Perai came from Afghanistan to escape an abusive husband. Nedel Klaib came from Syria to escape the constant threat of war.

Anisimov now owns a popular coffee shop. Perai’s four sons each earn 4.0 grade-point averages. Klaib is close to earning a veterinarian certification to begin his career in the U.S.

And all three of them met the governor of Washington on Friday.

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KXLY: Refugees Share Inspiring Stories with Governor Inslee (April 27, 2018)

SPOKANE, Wash. - Families who came to Spokane fleeing war met one of the state's major champions for refugee resettlement, Governor Jay Inslee.

Gov. Inslee hopes to take the stories he heard Friday with him when he leaves Spokane. One family's account of coming to America was especially memorable. 

Shah Perai Mohammad Osman trekked through seven countries over a period of 11 years to find refuge in America with her four boys. Her oldest, Aziz Moltafet, was only 12-years-old when they got to Spokane to escape war in Afghanistan.

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KXLY: Spokane Business Thrives with Refugee Employees (April 6, 2018)

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - They came to Spokane fleeing war in Sudan. Now, three refugees are helping a Spokane Valley small business grow and succeed. 

Sean McLaughlin started import company Waterglider International about 15 years ago to make a little extra money while he taught. The company imports and distributes various products across the globe. McLaughlin's business has grown to a full time job for him and it's the source of some success for three new Spokane residents from Sudan. 

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