This year, approximately 5,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many relocating to Illinois, California and Michigan. Melineh Kano, Executive Director of “Refugee One,” says that the refugee resettlement program in the United States is “not a fast track program” and that the vetting process takes years. “It’s not a race towards a number; it’s a commitment to increase resettlement.”
“Refugee One” helps refugees find employment and a place to live as well as offering psychological care and education. “When you are dealing with individuals who are coming from fresh trauma, when you are dealing with individuals who are still shell shocked by what has happened to them, you know mentally and physically they are not ready to hit the ground running,” Ms. Kano expanded.
After fleeing Syria, Hasna Marza and her eight-year old daughter recently resettled in Chicago where Ms. Marza is now taking English language classes taught by “Refugee One.” She hopes to land a job soon but in the meantime is thankful to be safe with her daughter. “The best thing is that there is safety and security, but of course in Syria, that’s what it was like before the war began.”