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Program raises awareness on refugee resettlement in central Wisconsin


As more refugees call Central Wisconsin home, raising awareness about their challenges has become a priority.

In 2022, Central Wisconsin welcomed more than 175 refugees from countries like Afghanistan, Congo, Syria, and Burundi.

They arrived for different reasons, but were forced to leave their homes suddenly, to settle in a foreign country.

Experts said the world is in a state of humanitarian crisis.

"For the first time in recorded history, we have an internationally growing crisis of forced displacement individuals where the refugees come from."

The Badger State has been resettling refugees since 1975 but is now seeing a larger wave of asylum seekers in the more recent years.

"We are taking a part in a larger humanitarian effort to provide safety and home to the new neighbors."

The Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service hosted a conversation to discuss how the community can help them settle comfortably.

"Making sure that people in the community are educated on what's going on, but there's also understanding and willingness to bring their best foot forward."

They asked people to put themselves in their shoes, and help to understand their needs.

"And so meeting the needs and thinking about what would I need if I were, if I was a refugee and just came to a new community, I would have to rebuild my life from scratch so what are the things that are needed to get to the point where I'm self sufficient, where I'm integrated into the community and where I'm helping."

They said at the end of the day, humanity and empathy are keys to being able to help our new neighbors so they too can call Central Wisconsin home.

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