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Mentor 17-year-old refugee from Eritrea in Holland

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Bethany Christian Services

We are looking for a male volunteer to mentor a 17-year-old refugee from Eritrea who lives in a foster home in Holland. This youth has been in Bethany's refugee foster care program since February of 2017, and he has been with the same foster family the entire time. He is very close to them. He is an 11th grader at a local public school. His case manager shared, "He is intelligent, driven, and enjoys school. He likes structure and appreciates having a schedule. He plays on the varsity soccer team, and is very focused on fitness, working out every afternoon. He is developing ways to cope with stress, which usually expresses itself through anger and self-isolation. Will sometimes 'disengage’ from family, friends during stressful times (sometimes for 10-14 days at a time). He is processing traumatic memories and the stress of overseas family members requesting support.

Background: This youth was born in Eritrea, to a mother who was ill and unable to work. His father was a soldier in the military and only visited his family one month a year. The youth was prevented from attending school, and age 9, he was forced by his parents to work for a local man as a shepherd assistant. Out of fear of physical assault by his employer, he fled Eritrea in 2014 and entered Ethiopia. He entered the Mai Aini Refugee Camp in Ethiopia in August 2014. He lived in the refugee camp until his resettlement in the United States in 2017.

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About Bethany Christian Services


1050 36th St. SE, Suite 400, Grand Rapids, MI 49508, US

Mission Statement

Bethany demonstrates the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting children, empowering youth, and strengthening families through quality social services.


For refugees fleeing danger, the search for safety can be extremely challenging. And too often, people become numbers in a system that can feel impossible to navigate. That’s why we guide, protect, advocate for, and support refugees. In the U.S., we offer resettlement and continued support services in strategic locations.

Bethany Christian Services' Refugee and Immigrant Services program encompasses adult and family resettlement as well as refugee foster care for Unaccompanied Children and Unaccompanied Refugee Minors. Our services for unaccompanied refugee youth include case management, counseling, housing (foster homes, group homes, independent living), classes (New Arrival, Life Skills, driver's training), and volunteer mentoring and tutoring.

Children & Youth
Immigrants & Refugees
Sports & Recreation


We'll work with your schedule.


1050 36th St. SESuite 400Grand RapidsKentwood, MI 49508



  • Mentoring
  • English as a Secondary Language (ESL)
  • People Skills
  • Relationship Building
  • Soccer




  • Driver's License Needed
  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 21
  • Orientation or Training
  • One year, four hours per month.
  • Application, references, background clearances, interview, training.

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