Abington’s Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley Helping Refugees Adapt to the Area

Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley from Abington is helping refugees adjust to the shock of moving into a new culture. (Image via Times Chronicle)

Abington’s Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley is helping refuges resettle and adapt to their new environment, writes Dutch Godshalk for Times Chronicle.

The refuges are referred to resettlement agencies such as BCS after going through an arduous two-year vetting process. During those two years, they are screened by National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, the Departments of State, Defense and Homeland Security.

According to BCS’ program director Peter Gottemoller, many refugees from African nations are referred to the Philadelphia area as it has a uniquely dense Eritrean population.  However, BCS gets refugees from many different places, including Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

In Pennsylvania, nearly half of the 1,270 refugees that have been resettled between October 1 and January 31 are from war-torn Syria and the Congo.

The program works with refugees for around 90 days and includes helping them get a Social Security number. In addition, BSC sets up refugees with English as a Second Language classes and address basic cultural orientation such as shopping and transport options.

“There are approximately 65 million refugees” around the globe right now, said Gottemoller, “the highest it’s ever been.“

Read more about the intense process at Times Chronicle by clicking here.

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