Mentor 17-year-old refugee from Eritrea
Bethany Christian Services
We are looking for a male volunteer to mentor a 17-year-old male refugee youth from Eritrea who arrived into Bethany's refugee foster care program in January of 2020. He has very limited English abilities, and Arabic is his first language. His case manager shared, "The youth is adjusting well [to his group home placement]. He was initially very uncomfortable and said it reminded him of a place he had been where he was treated badly. His lack of ability to communicate is frustrating for him. He has developed a safety plan that allows him to walk away from a stressful event/interaction and be alone to calm himself."
Background: This youth's father was imprisoned when he was young, and his sister fled Eritrea as well, so he only grew up with his mother. He stated that the Eritrean military captured him in 2016 and took him to a military camp, but he was able to escape and made his way to Sudan. He made contact with his sister who was living in a refugee camp there, and she paid smugglers to take him to Egypt. It was there, in 2017, that he learned from his sister that his parents had died. The youth then registered with the UNHCR and was recommended for resettlement as an unaccompanied minor.
About Bethany Christian Services
1050 36th St. SE, Suite 400, Grand Rapids, MI 49508, US
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.