I Want To Learn About Refugees

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?


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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.

 United Nations High Commission for Refugees

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The leading agency in the world for helping refugees and getting them relocated to a safe environment.



Online videos:

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

Culture Shock – Lost Boys come to America

New York for the First Time – A Burmese Muslim refugee arrives in New York

Dreams – We all have a right to dream

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


Reading recommendations:

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 (what is now) 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


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).

  Restoring Dignity Omaha

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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 ECP


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.

  Refugee Empowerment Center


Resettling and empowering refugees to become self-sufficient through direct services and educational programs.

  Lutheran Family Services


Service provider for refugees in Nebraska that builds and strengthens family, individual, and community life.

  Nebraska Mosaic


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.

  Benson Area Refugee Task Force


A collaboration of individuals, organizations, and houses of faith in the Benson neighborhood founded to make a difference in the lives of refugee neighbors.

  Refugee Community Gardens

  New Americans Task Force (Based in Lincoln)

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A network of public and private organizations and community members dedicated to supporting New Americans in the Lincoln, Nebraska community.

Local Refugee Owned Restaurants and Businesses

  High Peak Asian Restaurant

Burmese, Karen, and Thai food and drinks

333 North 78th Street (between Cass and Dodge) 402-934-3555
Open 11:00am-3:00pm, 5:00pm-9:00pm

  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

Open 9:00am-7:00pm

  Mercy Thai

Thai, Karen, Burmese food

4741 S 96 ST (96th and L ST)  402-614-1929

Open 11:00am-3:00pm, 5:00pm-9:00pm

  International Cafe

Somali and East African food.

2416 Farnam ST    402-345-1568

  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