Refugee Resettlement Program

St. Mark’s is one of eight Capitol Hill congregations (Good Neighbors Capitol Hill) providing Afghan refugee resettlement in Prince George’s County. The team has furnished 15 apartments with donations from our neighbors and friends. Through our tutoring and employment volunteers, we are connected to 20 Afghan families and 64 children (with more families waiting for a mentor/friend). The energy and enthusiasm of the Capitol Hill community about this project has been impressive. In fact, D.C. City Council issued a proclamation in March 2018 recognizing this incredible effort. Learn more about the Good Neighbor Program here.

How to participate: Mentoring relationships are essential to the assimilation of refugees. The basic requirement is a commitment to friendship. Our Afghan families gain confidence and trust and information for success in a new society through relationships.

  • Employment counseling: Join our Refugee Employment Team to help newcomers develop networks and skills for sustainable jobs.
  • Tutoring: Be part of a teaching team or support an individual to gain basic English language survival skills. We’ll help with materials and making connections.
  • Fundraising: Help families meet emergency needs and access basic subsidies for families who are underemployed. Checks can be written to Lutheran Church of the Reformation (with notation of Refugee Resettlement Project).

Want to know more about the program or the events listed below? Please contact Karen Getman or Margaret McLaughlin to learn more.

Explore possibilities for team participation:

The following gatherings will take place in the St. Mark’s Elders Room on the lower level.

January 15, 2019, 7 – 8:30, Refugee Tutoring Team: Make a New Year’s Resolution and consider joining our tutoring team.  We can arrange a match with a stay-at-home mom who needs basic survival English, a dad hoping to improve his English for better employment possibilities, or a teen who is eager to graduate from high school. Hear from one of our tutors about the challenges and inspiring opportunities they have had. Find a partner to share the tutorial experience with you. Get info and materials from experienced ESL teachers.

January 22, 2019, 7 – 8:30 pm, Refugee Employment Team: Looking for a way to make a difference in chaotic times? Refugees need sustainable employment, and our Employment Team welcomes volunteers who can assist heads of household in their search. Join us as we ask questions and brainstorm best practices for employment assistance. We also consult with Afghans who have successfully transitioned to good jobs as well as more recent refugees who need advice.

Enjoy a concert and help support the Refugee Resettlement Program:

February 9, 2019, 7:30 pm, Benefit Concert and Reception—Celebrating Two Years of Good Neighbors Capitol Hill: The Capitol Hill Second Strings Ensemble has generously donated a performance in support of the Good Neighbors Capitol Hill work with Afghan refugees. This program for a winter evening, which will take place in St. Mark’s nave, will be a wonderful musical event as well as an opportunity to support the commitment of Good Neighbors Capitol Hill and help sustain our funds for emergency assistance, travel repayment, and computer or other special equipment needs. Tickets are $20 per person.