Raleigh nonprofit expects to receive Afghan families in coming weeks

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Raleigh-based nonprofit Refugee Hope Partners has helped more than 800 people resettle in central North Carolina, and in the coming weeks, they expect to receive more Afghan refugee families fleeing the country as the Taliban returns to power.

Since becoming a formal nonprofit in 2018, the organization has helped refugees from all over the world.

"Over 30 countries are represented," said Sarabeth Sickling, director of family engagement and site operations for Refugee Hope Partners. "Some of the bigger ones that we serve are people from Congo, people from Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Myanmar or Burma. And then also some Nepali people as well."

Sickling added that the mission of the organization is tied to building back hope and a sense of wellbeing.

"Refugee Hope Partners exists to love our refugee neighbor with the hope of the Gospel in partnership with a local church. We have a lot of different programs, including some educational programs. We do medical appointments for people and dental appointments," Sickling said.

The organization works with resettlement agencies affiliated with the Department of States Refugee Processing Center. One of the main apartment complexes in North Raleigh where refugees live has become somewhat of a support village for families.

"This apartment complex houses a lot of refugees," Sickling said. "And, it's just, we believe that it's God's sovereignty bringing them here, and allowing them to be part of this community that is so much like living in a village overseas and just being able to be more in that family village mindset of it takes a village to raise a family."

The services provided by Refugee Hope Partners are life-changing for families and volunteers as well. One volunteer tutor, Raleigh senior Devan Govindji, started a nonprofit, Serve My Community, specifically to serve refugee students.

"I also created a launch program for 6 to 10th graders to help them prepare for college and beyond," Govindji said. "Ultimately creating that bridge program because only 3% of refugees attend college."

The programs are always in need of support especially as they expect to receive more Afghan families. Financial donations, volunteering, and items are accepted.
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