Organization celebrates World Refugee Day in Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Addar Ali is from Iraq, and He’s a refugee.

“When I come here I was having trouble in my life in Iraq, and you know, in 2003 I have war in my country between different persons there. So can’t live there with my family. So I take all my family to Egypt. And when I got to Egypt I start to work my cases about to come to refuge in the united States.”

He has now been living in Chattanooga for two years with his wife and two children.

Ali is one of several refugees and people that celebrated World Refugee Day in an event by Bridge Refugees Chattanooga.

It’s a non-profit that assists new refugees.

“The goal is to bring them, to help them get to self-sufficiency. So the children will be enrolled in school and the parents will be looking for a job,” Bridge Refugee Associate Director Marina Peshterianu said

Peshterianu said that they are currently serving about 100 refugees.

“Every year we are sent 100 to 120 people, but we extend our services for up to five years if people need to change a job if people need assistance,” Peshterianu said.

The Trump administration decreased the amount of refugees that can come to the U.S. and capped the number at 45,000.

“I work with refugee resettlement for almost 20 years. This is the lowest number that was allocated for refugee resettlement in the United States in all these years,” Peshterianu said

Peshterianu said refugees they’ve helped have been from19 countries.

She said recently they’ve seen people from Iraq, Ukraine, Russia, and Sudan that have come to the United States to save their lives.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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