SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – Utah has resettled an estimated 65,000+ refugees from more than 20 countries. There’s a program that makes it easier for refugees to share their unique stories, contribute their skills and celebrate their traditions.
The Know Your Neighbor Program aims to integrate the welcoming community and Utah’s refugee population by pairing volunteers with refugee families that live in Salt Lake City. Volunteers are asked to help guide refugee families in areas such as education, health care, and finance, assist the family to access local services and resources, and act as a friend.
There are three ways for people that are interested to get involved in the program:
FAMILY FRIEND – Through the Family Friend program, volunteers will have the opportunity to build friendships with an individual or family from Salt Lake City’s refugee community as they get to know each other over the course of at least six months to a year. The hope for this program is to provide both volunteers and refugees with the chance to learn from and enjoy one another’s company.
SKILL-SHARE MENTOR – This volunteer opportunity provides those involved with a chance to share their own professional or personal interests. According to its website, “the need for these volunteers is not always immediate, but as volunteers are able to make known to us the skills they wish to share, allowing us to create a pool of people that we can call on when that need arises.”
PROGRAM VOLUNTEER – Program volunteers have the chance to work hand in hand with staff members and other volunteers in both classroom, office, and within refugee community sites. Opportunities include teaching, mentoring, or planning in tech, citizenship, recreation, life and job skills, and administrative-based programs.
If this sounds like something you want to get involved in, you’re invited to attend the Know Your Neighbor Volunteer Orientations which are held on the second Thursday of every month at the City & County Building (451 South State Street, Room 335) from 6:00-8:00 p.m.