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Nebraska Sudanese Council of Churches

Why are so many Sudanese refugees arriving in Omaha, NE?

The decades-long civil war in Sudan has caused more than 4 million people in Southern Sudan to flee their homes. As refugees in the surrounding countries of East Africa, they have little choice but to remain in a refugee camp with little or no hope of leading an independent life. Through the United States refugee resettlement program, the U.S. accepts a pre-determined number of refugees each year from different regions around the world to move to the U.S. and start life anew. Part of the estimated 5,000 Sudanese refugees who have arrived in Omaha since 1997, have come directly to Nebraska from Sudan. The remainder moved to Omaha after first arriving in another part of the country. Omaha currently hosts the largest Sudanese refugee population in the country.

Resettlement

Cush Community Lutheran Church offers a secondary resettlement program, whereby refugees are assisted in establishing and maintaining a household in their new home. Since many refugees arrive in the U.S. with little or no money, food, and very few possessions, they often find the business of resettlement overwhelming. The church community greatly facilitates the refugee's transitional and acculturation process until they become self-sufficient.

Refugees are traumatized survivors. They are women, children, and men who have fled their homes because of the atrocities of war -- human rights violations, persecution and fear. The cause of the suffering stems from religious persecution, oil disputes, race and political actions. Resettlement is a good option for the church because resettling refugees will potentially increase our church membership. Also, as a human rights cause, we are determined to help refugees because we know the hardships that they face.