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Some were blind, or couldn’t read, or had never grasped the language. When they got too old to work, they became dependent on relatives or fellow immigrants. No one wanted that fate. Learning English, as Elia knew, was not just a key to a better job, it was also a race against the clock.

Katy Vine (Dec 2016, Texas Monthly)

An estimated 12,000 refugees have settled in and around Amarillo, TX. Many of these people—who come from places like Burma, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan—have found refuge here after suffering traumatic events in their home countries and in refugee camps.

Upon arriving in Amarillo, these men and women are required to find jobs, get their kids into our school system, and begin contributing to society in meaningful ways. Unfortunately, two large barriers prevent many refugees from success: community and language.

Unfortunately, two large barriers prevent many refugees from success: community and language.

After becoming aware of these obstacles, I launched the Refugee Language Project through Redeemer Christian Church. As a linguist with nearly a decade of experience overseas, I feel I am particularly attuned to the language and culture barriers that refugees face. The project aims to provide practical solutions that offer hope, healing, and community to the hopeless, the broken, and the lost. Why does Amarillo need the Refugee Language Project? We will meet real language needs among refugees, and foster compassionate community in our city.

The project aims to provide practical solutions that offer hope, healing, and community to the hopeless, the broken, and the lost. Why does Amarillo need the Refugee Language Project? We will meet real language needs among refugees, and foster compassionate community in our city.

What's the problem?

"Some hold advanced degrees in medicine, law, or engineering, but language and culture barriers prevent them from utilizing those qualifications here."

They are isolated

"They remain isolated, unable to develop the richness of community that all people desperately need, that all people were designed for."

They aren't learning English

"Teachers are overwhelmed by the staggering diversity of languages spoken by their students."

© 2018 Refugee Language Project. All rights reserved.