Springfield Welcome Home

Churches, Volunteer Groups Help Refugees Stave off Loneliness

May 31, 2017

Imagine leaving all of your friends, relatives and colleagues behind and fleeing to a safe place—where you don’t know a soul.

Pascal Nzabahanai knows that scenario well. Three months ago, he fled violence and instability in his home country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He’s a refugee.

We met Pascal at his rental home in Springfield.

“It’s like starting a new life, you have no anything, you have no money. You don’t have any way to shop,” Nzabahanai said.

When refugees first arrive in their new country, they often feel disoriented and lonely.

Claire Kidwell / KSMU

Some students say they have a new perspective on the situation facing refugees after attending a listening session Wednesday on the Missouri State University campus.

The panel conversation among local refugee families and the officials who help place them in the community came just days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Han Zhao

Around 100 people lined the sidewalks at National and Sunshine this morning chanting “No hate no fear, refugees are welcomed here” and “No ban.  No Wall.”  The protest, hosted by Springfield Welcome Home, was organized after President Donald Trump issued an executive order instituting a temporary ban on entry into the U.S. of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.