Befriend a Refugee

Newly arrived refugees fight loneliness and fear as they adjust to life in America. Refugees must learn about American culture and find their way around a new community. Meeting a caring American volunteer provides hope and encouragement to a refugee family.

Through the New Neighbor program, volunteers commit to visit a refugee family in Chicago once a week for three months to answer basic questions about life in the United States, help them practice English and introduce them to their community. In so doing, volunteers also help ease a refugee family's loneliness.

Exodus supports New Neighbor volunteers with:

  • Training on Cross-Cultural and Refugee Issues
  • Step-by-step handbook
  • Introduction to a refugee family that needs your help
  • Ongoing support including answers to questions, ideas and suggestions for meeting with refugees, and resource materials for volunteers to help refugees learn about life in the U.S.

You can also help a refugee living in DuPage County become a U.S. citizen through the New Neighbor Citizenship program. You or your group make a commitment to visit a refugee once per week for four months in order to help them practice English, learn about American history and civics, and prepare for the citizenship exam. Training and study materials are provided for volunteers.



“In refugee ministry, the mission field comes to us, and everyone involved benefits from the stretching involved in engaging in each others’ culture.”

Debbie, Exodus volunteer