Friends of Refugees Inc

Rating: 4.82 stars   17 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Job Training, Food, Human Services, Immigration

Location: Friends of Refugees PO Box 548 Clarkston GA 30021 USA

Mission: Our mission is to care for refugees through relationships and opportunities that provide for their well-being, education and employment as they become contributing members of society.
Results: -- Strong presence in the community; people like us -- 500 lives impacted last year -- 8 programs expanded through increased funding, staffing and volunteering -- Expected continued growth in 2011
Target demographics: Refugees with significant resettlement needs; Low-income families; Children and youth
Programs: Summer Camp, Mommy and Me Family Literacy (English for mothers with small children), Cafe Clarkston (for computer and job skills training), After-School Tutoring, Community Garden, Food and Clothing Distribution, "Embrace" (birthing information and assistance).
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 20-1989492
404-292-8818
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I am involved with Friends of Refugees through my church. We interact with the children by organizing block parties every few months and are helping with the materials for Summer Camp. The leaders and volunteers involved with F of R in Clarkston truly love these refugee families and are serving them in so many ways: after school tutoring, mom's groups, sewing classes, computer skills, and summer camp. Most of all, they are forming positive, personal relationships with the children and their parents.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen middle school students whose grades have improved as a result of tutoring. Many of the students who attended summer camp last year came as a result of the block parties, since they give the leaders of the organization an opportunity to engage with children and their parents.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change anything but would encourage them to continue to create opportunities for outside groups to become involved.

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Rating: 4 stars  

Friends of Refugees is an awesome organization that helps UN resettled refugees from war torn or impoverished nations around the world who get settled in Clarkston, GA (the largest refugee center in the Southeast). They help families adjust to all aspects of life in America such as finances, housing, language, school, employment, etc.

Friends of Refugees has also been extremely focused on reaching out and building bridges of community and friendship between people of different ethnicities and backgrounds. It is also one of the only organizations of it's kind that is active in this area. Very few residents of the metro Atlanta area (right outside Clarkston) are even aware that such a melting pot of different cultures exists in their own backyard. Friends of Refugees has helped reduce this by bringing in local groups and churches as volunteers.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I personally had never heard of the unique situation and challenges Clarkston faced until I went on a local mission trip there the past several summers. Even though the poverty and struggle that is going on there sometimes pulled at my heartstrings, I was also encouraged and inspired by all the good that Friends of Refugees is doing in the area. They are truly the hands and feet of God to his children in a time that could easily become overwhelmingly difficult for refugees otherwise.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would introduce more volunteer and outreach efforts to communities outside of Clarkston. There are many Georgians who are unaware of the problems this area faces, but might be willing to help if they knew.

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Rating: 5 stars  

This is a small but mighty organization. Those involved work tirelessly with refugees in all areas of their lives. My husband and I have personally supported the directors of this program for many years and our donation followed them from their previous Christian organization to Friends. We did this because we have seen their hearts...unselfishly giving to others in the name of Jesus Christ. They have taken these people into their heart and their home. There are no "numbers" here. These are individuals whose lives have been changed because of their contact with Friends of Refugees. I have no concerns whatsoever that my monthly gift is used responsibly. Like so many organizations these days, I am sure that support would be welcomed whether it be monetary, volunteering or gifts in-kind. Whatever you can do for them I know will be appreciated. I feel very blessed to have a small part in this wonderful organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

reviewing their newsletter and contact with the directors.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change a thing!

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Rating: 4 stars  

I worked closely with Friends of Refugees (FOR) for an entire year (Summer Spectacular '08-'09 and other programs), and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the organization. The relationships formed were invaluable in multiple ways, and I will always have warm memories of Clarkston, GA. FOR is highly recommended for anyone looking to serve the refugee population in a flexible, yet professional environment.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

We partnered with multiple non-profits and faith-based organizations, engaged hundreds of volunteers, and served over 100 kids and families by providing an educational and entertaining summer program.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Explore ways to create viable employment opportunities for refugees, while looking for more sustainable sources of funding.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered with Mommy & Me teaching refugee women in classrooms divided by their level of English fluency. It is a very professionally run program with well trained and committed teachers. Providing childcare for the women is an essential component to their success in the classroom but Mommy & Me takes the extra step of encouraging the mothers to be English teachers to their own children. The enthusiasm and dedication of the teachers sets a wonderful tone for the school! I loved working with the women and experiencing their growth in English language skills and feelings of accomplishment as they progressed into the next level. I think the program is one of the best refugee education programs in the area and deserves consistent funding! If I wasn't a full-time student now, I would continue to volunteer with the program.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing women who knew almost no English when they first started at Mommy & Me, be able to express themselves in English and feel really proud of their accomplishments.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

ensure a consistent and sufficient funding stream! The program provides so much benefit for so many people for so little money!

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Rating: 5 stars  

From what I've obeserved...the Mommy and Me program that's under Friends of Refugee does an excellent job of not only teaching English, but also equipping refugee mothers and their children for the real world.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...talking with volunteers of this organization.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The only change would be that more money would be given to this excellent program.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Seyoum comes every day the Cafe is open, and we apply for jobs each time. He wants to be a security officer. He's a bit older, but I know that we will find the right job for him.
We were able to find a labor job for Misgana, even though his specialty is in IT. As we build his resume, I'm sure that he will be able to land an IT job.
Nestor says that even though there isn't a job for him yet, we encourage him by our helpfulness and persistence.
The leaders of the organization actively seek how they can help refugees, which leads to practical programs. The community garden is like a taste of home to refugees who farmed. The mommy and me literacy program partners with mothers, so that the first teacher the child has is their parent.
The organization truly helps create and train refugees how to be contributing members of society.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Those who have found jobs and decide to come back and volunteer at the Cafe, to help others who need jobs.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

develop more programs because the ones in use are so useful to the refugees, but there is always more to be done.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel that I am contributing to society and helping others.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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