Nebraska Sudanese Council of Churches
Why are so many Sudanese refugees arriving in Omaha,
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.
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.