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The Saint Francis Foundation has many programs, this is one of them.
As Christians, we are called to serve the stranger in our midst. As a ministry rooted in the Episcopal tradition, Saint Francis is dedicated to helping those fleeing violence or persecution in their home countries find safety and security in the United States. Saint Francis Migration Ministries (SFMM) helps refugees resettle and build new lives in Wichita, Kansas.
SFMM provides essential support to refugees approved through the U.S. Department of State’s Resettlement Program. Most clients resettled in Wichita come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, and Burma. Many have lived for years in refugee camps abroad while waiting for approval of their eligibility status by the Departments of State and Homeland Security.
Saint Francis Migration Ministries is the Kansas Affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), the refugee resettlement program of the Episcopal Church. EMM collaborates with 14 local partner agencies in 12 Episcopal dioceses and 12 states to welcome those fleeing persecution. (link to www.episcopalmigrationministries.org)
What is a “refugee”?
“Refugee” is a legal term used by the United Nations to define an individual who “owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”
An asylum-seeker is a person who has fled their home and crossed a border seeking safety and protection. Refugees and asylum-seekers have fled their countries due to persecution and because their home governments are unable or unwilling to protect them.
How we help
Our work begins while our clients are still overseas as we plan for their arrival and mobilize services and resources necessary for successful resettlement in their new community. Our face-to-face work starts when we greet clients at the airport and welcome them to their new home. Then, with help from our network of community volunteers and partners, we provide support with housing, jobs, food, clothing, furnishing, and health screenings.
SFMM helps newly-arrived refugees begin the long process of settling in their new home. During their first months, we provide support with:
- Financial assistance
- Employment skills
- Job placement
- Financial management
- English language learning
- Cultural and community orientation
Saint Francis Migration Ministries offers extended employment services to clients, ensuring they will successfully secure employment so they can support their families, become financially self-sufficient, and contribute to the local economy.
Intensive Case Management
With support from the Preferred Communities program of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), Saint Francis Migration Ministries provides intensive case management services for refugees with additional needs, including referrals to community providers.
Funded in part by a grant from the International Rescue Committee, Saint Francis Migration Ministries can serve eligible refugee clients for up to five years after arrival, ensuring that families have the support they need as they continue to work towards self-sufficiency.
How you can help
- Mentor a family
- Set up an apartment for new arrivals
- Organize special events
- Help in the office
- Serve on the Welcome Team
- Serve as an English tutor
Churches, individuals, and civic groups contribute to Saint Francis Migration Ministries’ work through gifts of household items, hygiene kits, and other necessities. To see the Wish List for Saint Francis Migration Ministries click here.
You can also contribute financially. Learn how you can help serve the stranger in our midst with a financial contribution by clicking here. To speak with someone about how you can support Saint Francis Migration Ministries and other Saint Francis programs, call 800.898.4896.