Ahlam Al Khaled, a health and nutrition educator for International Orthodox Christian Charities, walks with children in a settlement of Syrian refugees in Minyara, a village in the Akkar district of northern Lebanon. Lebanon hosts some 1.5 million refugees from Syria, yet allows no large camps to be — Paul Jeffrey/ACT

 

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is responsible for coordinating the Presbyterian Church (USA) humanitarian response to and advocacy on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers and other forced migrants. 

 

What We Do

Refugee Resettlement

Asylum Seekers

Resources/ Education

World Refugee Day

We Choose Welcome signs

How you can help

Index

 


What We Do

PDA partners with Mid Councils and Congregations

  1. Information and Referral
    • PDA connects Presbyterians to non-profit organizations in the U.S. serving refugees and asylum seekers. PDA guides Presbyterians regarding locations of refugee resettlement, how churches can help, and how the U.S. refugee and immigration system works.
  2. Educational and Worship Resources
    • PDA creates and shares educational resources for congregational use.
  3. Refugee Ministry Consultation and Guidance
    • PDA provides technical assistance and guidance through individual phone consultations, conference calls or webinars, and face-to-face local and regional gatherings.
  4. Ministries of Presence
    • PDA, along with members of the National Response Team (NRT) offers technical, emotional and spiritual support to local ministries and their volunteers.
  5. Financial Support
    • PDA supports local congregations and task forces through mid councils who may request an initial grant to assist in responding to a new or emergency refugee situation. Special project grants are also available for longer-term responses.

PDA parters with national offices:

  • Office of Public Witness and the Office of Immigration Issues
    • PDA works with the PC(USA) office of Public Witness and the Office of Immigration Issues to advance just and compassionate U.S. policies toward refugees and other forced migrants.
  • Church World Service Immigration & Refugee Program (CWS)
    • Since 1947, the PC(USA) has supported refugee resettlement through CWS. CWS is one of nine national, non-governmental organizations with a network of local offices to receive newly arriving refugees and provide at least three months of services.
  • Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service (LIRS)
    • For over 20 years, PDA has worked with LIRS to develop new ministry models and promote interdisciplinary collaboration among organizations serving asylum seekers and vulnerable immigrants. In 2015, PDA and LIRS produced a short documentary, Locked in a Box, to highlight the plight of immigrants in U.S. detention.

PDA is a two-fold ministry:

  • relief and response to national and international disasters; and
  • aid to refugees and displaced persons, including resettlement.

Outside the U.S., PDA supports refugees through mission and ecumenical partners following the same protocol that guides other disaster response efforts. For information on international responses, click here


 

Refugee Resettlement

Asylum Seekers

Asylum seekers are refugees who are asking a government to recognize them as a refugee and the government has yet to make a decision.

Trailer for "Locked in a Box" from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance on Vimeo.

Resources/Education

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day, first declared by the United Nations  in 2000, is June 20th every year.

We Choose Welcome signs

PDA partnered with other PC(USA) offices to introduce a We Choose Welcome awareness campaign; the project promotes refugee support by providing multi-language yard signs and other resources to help your congregation build and deepen relationships with refugees in your community.

Click here to download the yard signs and advocacy resources.


 

How You Can Help


Index

Refugees are individuals who are

  1. outside their home country
  2. afraid of likely persecution of death if sent back to that country because of their religion, race, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group, and
  3. whose government is unwilling or unable to protect them

Asylum seekers are refugees who are asking a government to recognize them as a refugee and the government has yet to make a decision.

 

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