BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The war in Syria is forcing millions to flee their homes, and the United States is working to accept 10,000 of the fleeing refugees over the next year.
Tracey Leong reports for WJZ.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Baltimore has resettled more than two dozen Syrians so far this year, and they are preparing to help more.
“They are desperate to seek safety,” the IRC’s executive director, Ruben Chandrasekar, said. “They are desperate to be given a new chance at a new life.”
The International Rescue Committee in Baltimore has welcomed 26 Syrians by providing them with the tools to succeed, including a furnished apartment and even employment.
They say their program is successful because refugees are eager to start their new lives free from persecution.
“They want nothing more than to get employed, play their taxes and be able to do the normal stuff you and I take for granted,” said Chandrasekar.
Nearly 90 percent of the refugees the IRC assists become self sufficient, which in turn helps Baltimore thrive as a city.
“When you get a safe place like Baltimore or the U.S. and you have the opportunity to rebuild your whole life,” said Chandrasekar, “how motivated do you think you would be? That’s what we see everyday when we welcome a refugee into the Baltimore area.”
The Baltimore office is primarily funded through federal dollars, but a lot of donations come from the community.
“They all have an immigrant history so they know what it’s like to have to start a new life in a new place,” said Chandrasekar.
Over the last 15 years, the IRC has resettled 12,000 refugees from all over the world here in central Maryland.
The IRC is currently accepting donations and volunteers.