Refugees and exiles

The United States will resettle about 85,000 refugees in 2016, including 10,000 from Syria. 25,000 come from Africa and 13,000 come from East Asia, including Burma and Bhutan. Refugees are persons fleeing conflict or persecution; unaccompanied children are youth separated from their parents and arriving in another state.

Unfortunately, refugees only receive government cash aid for eight months in California, and they must pay the government for their airfare costs to the US. in that short time span, they must learn English, adapt to their new environment, and obtain a job. Refugees report that the stress of adapting to the United States is as stressful as their wartime experiences!

According to a needs assessment conducted by Dr. Joan Jeung and I, a staggering 63% of refugees from Burma remained jobless in the San Francisco East Bay. To view the report, go to "From Crisis To Community Development: A Needs Assessment of Refugees From Burma."

New Hope Covenant Church of Oakland, California partners with the Karen Christian Fellowship Church (KCFC) to assist families resettling from Thai refugee camps along the border of Burma.

New Hope hosts weekly tutoring sessions for students of all ages. To inquire about tutoring, please contact Dr. Russell Jeung at

KCFC has established a Karen Language Summer School so that youth can retain their ancestral language and parents can effectively communicate with their children. At the Summer School, students also study the Bible in Karen.

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