OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — In honor of “World Refugee Day,” set for Saturday, June 20, a new organization will launch in Oswego to help refugees, as they adjust to life in the United States. 

Oswego Welcomes Refugees (OWR) is a group designed to help immigrants and refugees adapt to the many challenges facing New Americans. 

OWR’s goal is to help New Americans access employment opportunities and health and education resources, as well as cultural acceptance. 

Some of the specific programs OWR is planning to offer include:

  • English as a second language
  • Various medical/mental health services
  • Assistance with enrolling in local schools
  • Cultural orientation

“We will create a network of individuals, organizations and companies eager to welcome New Americans and support their contributions to the life of our community. Helping New Americans who are already among us also prepares us to welcome new neighbors to Oswego, as refugee resettlement agencies like InterFaith Works and Catholic Charities have done for decades,” said Yara Osman, the New York State Office for New Americans Community Navigator at InterFaith Works of Central New York.

OWR’s launch on World Refugee Day, will help draw public attention to the 24.5 million refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution. 

June 20, 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the Refugee Act of 1980. Since that time, approximately three million refugees have been resettled in the United States. 

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