Friends of Refugees (FOR), Clarkston, Georgia
Every year, thousands of refugees are formally welcomed to the United States, carrying dreams of a better life and the desire to escape political, religious and ethnic persecution, or the violence of war within their home country.
Since the early 1990′s, Clarkston, GA, has been a destination for refugees trying to rebuild their lives. Clarkston has been called “the most diverse square mile in America” by the New York Times Magazine.
In 1995, Friends of Refugees began with a mission “to empower refugees through opportunities that provide for their well-being, education and employment.”
Since then, FOR volunteers have given tens of thousands of hours to serve thousands of individuals across 7 program areas. These programs facilitated hundreds of job placements (some of which were with us), served over 150 kids in summer camp and after-school programs, taught hundreds of moms and kids English together, welcomed dozens of babies born to healthy moms in the labor doula program, filled over 90 family kitchen tables with fresh produce from their plots in FOR community gardens, created thousands of handcrafted items in the Refugee Sewing Society, and helped launch 16 new businesses through the StartME business accelerator.
Working with students from the Cafe Clarkston Solar PV installation training program, Alternative Energy Southeast provided materials and labor to install a solar power system with batteries at the Peace Growers greenhouse at the Jolly Avenue Community Garden.