CCANO Press
By June 12, 2015August 2nd, 2016No Comments

Refugee Services Seeks Volunteer Mentors

Update July 2016: We have made changes to our mentor program. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact our Refugee Mentor Program at 504-310-6868 or [email protected]. Visit our Volunteer Opportunities or Immigration and Refugee Services pages for more details.

Posted July 2015 ImmigrationRefugee-Logo

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans Refugee Services is seeking volunteer mentors ages 18 and older for their new Refugee Mentor Program. The Refugee Mentor Program connects refugee families with a volunteer mentor who will help  encourage self-sufficiency in America. Volunteers commit to mentoring a refugee or refugee family weekly for a year. An orientation/training for refugee mentors will be held June 30 from 9am-12pm at Catholic Charities Refugee Services offices, St. Lawrence the Martyr campus, 2505 Maine Avenue in Metairie. To attend this training, all prospective mentors must contact Peyton Smith, Refugee Mentor Program Coordinator to submit a resume and schedule an interview.  Call  504-310-6868  or email [email protected] for more information.

While the case managers provide direct, holistic assistance to refugee individuals and families, many refugees face challenges in their social/cultural integration to life in the United States. Volunteers are needed to mentor and acquaint refugees with basic services and resources in the community including  public transportation, banking and currency, libraries, markets, etc. Mentors will help refugees develop self-sufficiency skills to meet their personal or family-specific goals outlined by their case managers.

The minimum commitment for a refugee mentors is 1-2 hours per week for one full year
(12 months). Mentors and mentees determine convenient meeting locations and times each week. Mentors must attend a Catholic Charities volunteer orientation and the Refugee Mentor training. Mentors must also be available for ongoing communication with the Refugee Mentor Coordinator regarding your mentor family’s integration goals.

Each year, more than one hundred refugees and other immigrants granted special humanitarian legal status arrive in the Greater New Orleans and are assisted by Catholic Charities Refugee Services. Refugees enrich our lives and community with their resilience, diversity and unique world views. Volunteer mentors have the opportunity to  learn about other cultures, gain training, participate in group events and activities and have the opportunity to participate in a mentor support group. This program seeks volunteers who are compassionate, patient, and mature as well as reliable, committed and able to relate to people from a variety of backgrounds.