Church World Service Celebrates 30 Years of RSC Africa, Resettlement Milestone

January 13, 2021

Washington, D.C.—Church World Service today marked an achievement in the field of refugee resettlement, by resettling over 300,000 refugees from sub-Saharan Africa to the United States over the past thirty years. The organization operates Resettlement Support Center Africa, based in Kenya (with additional offices in South Africa and Tanzania), as part of its global effort to welcome the stranger. The RSC Africa team, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2021, guides all U.S.-bound refugees from sub-Saharan Africa through the resettlement process and helps them prepare for their new lives in the United States.

“For the many who sought resettlement fleeing persecution, violence and disaster, we welcome you to the United States. Refugees are forced from their homes and distanced from their families. Through this program, however, they have built new futures and brought their families together, ensuring that they are not only recipients of our will to welcome the stranger, but of their promise to be participants in our nation,” said Rev. John L. McCullough, president and CEO of Church World Service. “Our work is not done, but because of the foundations laid by this program, we can offer a safer future to all those deprived of the opportunity to live lives free from fear.”

In 1989, CWS signed a cooperative agreement with the Department of State to begin refugee processing from sub-Saharan Africa. This was done through the Joint Voluntary Agency, now known as RSC Africa. From the fiscal year of 1991 through Dec 28, 2020, 300,627 refugees have been resettled to the United States through the program. Though the current global pandemic has significantly affected resettlement processes, RSC Africa still managed to resettle 3,395 individuals to the United States in FY20.

RSC Africa serves refugees in 49 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In refugee camps and urban areas across the continent, CWS conducts screening interviews, supports the U.S. government’s rigorous adjudication and vetting processes, and provides cultural orientation training to refugees preparing for their new lives in the the United States. RSC Africa also communicates regularly with refugees and their families, as well as communities across the United States who are preparing to welcome their new neighbors.

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