The World Comes to Atlanta
The 1996 Centennial Olympic Games changed Atlanta forever, and accelerated its transformation from southern capital to international city. Atlanta is home to people from 145 countries and 761 different ethnic groups (immigrants, refugees, international students). These groups includes Nepalis, Cambodians, Iranians, Somalis, Burmese, Bhutanese, Sudanese, Laotians, Indonesians, and numerous others. It’s an amazing opportunity to present the gospel to those that have never even heard the name of Christ!
Each year, Americans welcome between 30,000 and 70,000 refugees to the U.S. Whether they come from Tibet, Sudan, Iraq, Burma, Congo or another part of the world, all refugees share a similar journey. Unlike internally displaced persons, they do not have the choice to remain in their home country.
According to the 1951 Geneva Convention, a refugee is a person who has been forced to flee their country because of a well-founded fear of persecution due to reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. A refugee either cannot return home or is afraid to do so. There are over 15 million refugees living in the world today.
How does a refugee get to America?
Many refugees spend years and sometimes decades in substandard refugee camps. Some may marry and have children in these camps. They await an interview and approval from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to go to a refugee receiving nation. Those coming to the United States must also await approval from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services. Only refugees with sufficient proof of a well-founded fear of persecution in their homeland will be allowed to go to a new country.
The refugees that come to America are passed along to a refugee resettlement agency, such as World Relief, where they are assigned a case worker who is responsible for them during their first 90 days in the US. 900 dollars is given to each refugee for food, clothing, rent, utilities, start-up costs, and other basic needs. These refugees must begin the process of building a new life in America.
Family Heritage Foundation works alongside refugee resettlement agencies and continues to provide long-term care and services to refugees following their first 90 days in the US. FHF helps with a variety of programs to ensure that these refugees become contributing members of our society and help them become self-sufficient.
Clarkston High School, a Unique Asset
Clarkston High School (CHS) is the most diverse school in the DeKalb County School System. CHS has students are from six continents, over 50 countries, and can speak over 45 languages. The school mascot, the Angora, is unique in Georgia. The school colors are green and gold, symbolizing an ever-rich, ever-fresh learning environment. CHS also houses the only hearing impaired program for high schoolers in DeKalb County Public Schools.