Who is a refugee?
A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.
UNHCR Refugee Statistics 2017 – 4 minute video detailing current Global Trends
Where can I learn more about refugee resettlement?
The U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration looks to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.
The leading agency in the world for helping refugees and getting them relocated to a safe environment.
The 1% – Follow a Karen family from their refugee camp in Thailand to their new U.S. Home
Abeny Kucha – A Nebraskan refugee from South Sudan tells her powerful story
No One Means to Be a Refugee – A Nebraskan refugee (SIV) couple from Afghanistan tells their story
Lost For Words – See the impact a mentor can have on a newly arrived refugee’s life
The Last Girl – Nadia Murad is a Yazidi woman who escaped ISIS in Iraq
Life in Exile – A Nebraskan refugee from Somalia tells his powerful story
Lost Boy Lost Girl – Escaping civil war in South Sudan
How can I get involved locally?
There are lots opportunities to meet and support refugees! Especially in Omaha, a city that receives hundreds of refugees each year.
Please click the Volunteer Guide link for the best ways to get started.
Additional opportunities include:
World Refugee Day (WRD) is the largest refugee event in Omaha each year. Globally WRD is celebrated June 20th. Locally, Omaha celebrates on the closest Saturday to June 20th. This event is a chance to learn about refugees in Omaha and hear their amazing stories at Joslyn Art Museum (sponsored by the Omaha Refugee Task Force).
Volunteer your time and/or resources to help Omaha refugee families facing particular hardships find comfort and solace in their new homes. Wonderful one-day volunteer opportunity – but you’ll want to come back again!
New American Arts Festival
This festival includes workshops, performances, art displays, fashion, artist vendors, food vendors, music, interaction, and more. Mentors from the local art scene are always appreciated.
Yates Educational Community Partnership (ECP) is a program of Omaha Public Schools (OPS) for refugees and immigrant parents to better understand and navigate American culture. Programs include ESL, Sewing, Cultural Orientation, and Citizenship classes. Community garden, interpreters, social worker, and donation center on site. Guest speakers from area organizations weekly. Yates is always looking for volunteers to help with these programs and support our new Omaha friends. They follow the OPS elementary school calendar.
Dedicated to advertising local volunteer opportunities and events to help foster a sense of community in Omaha.
Resettling and empowering refugees to become self-sufficient through direct services and educational programs.
Service provider for refugees in Nebraska that builds and strengthens family, individual, and community life.
A project of the University of Nebraska Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications that seeks to give voice to Nebraska’s growing refugee communities.
Ready in 5
Prepares refugee children and families for the American school system in conjunction with the YMCA and Heartland Family Services. You could volunteer with an education group or become a family friend!
A collaboration of individuals, organizations, and houses of faith in the Benson neighborhood founded to make a difference in the lives of refugee neighbors.
Community Bike Project (Gifford Park Neighborhood)
Helping refugees learn the safety rules of riding bicycles in their new city.
Refugee Community Gardens
- Big Garden
- Omaha Landbank
- Yates, Refugee Empowerment Center, and the Intercultural Senior Center all have community gardens that welcome volunteers.
A network of public and private organizations and community members dedicated to supporting New Americans in our community.
Local Refugee Owned Restaurants and Businesses
Druk LCA Groceries and Restaurant
Bhutanese, Nepali, and Indian food and wares
822 N 40th ST (Corner of 40th and Cuming ST, across from Lisa’s Radial Cafe) 402-553-7666
Thai, Karen, Burmese food
4741 S 96 ST (96th and L ST) 402-614-1929
Open 11:00am-3:00pm, 5:00pm-9:00pm
Thai, Karen, Burmese restaurant and attached grocery store.
Two locations: 1102 NW Radial HWY 402-884-5375 Open Monday-Saturday 11:00am-2:30pm, 5:00pm-9:00pm
6553 Ames Ave 402-934-5747 Open Monday-Saturday 11:00am-3:00pm, 5:00pm-9:00pm
Somali and East African food.
Lalibela Ethiopian Cuisine
Dining in Ethiopia is characterized by the ritual of breaking “injera” and sharing food from a common plate, signifying the bonds of loyalty and friendship. The traditional way of eating is with one’s fingers. Injera is placed on the plate with a variety of “wots”, or stews, decoratively arranged on top of the injera. A small portion of injera is torn off and wrapped around a mouthful of the selected wot.
4422 Cass ST 402-991-5662 Open 10:00AM – 9:00PM