Refugee Resettlement

It is estimated that more than 117 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide. This staggering number includes refugees, asylum seekers, and those internally displaced in their own countries—and this number is growing. Future conflicts, fragile economies, and increased natural disasters due to climate change will force even more people to flee their homes for safety, security, and prosperity for themselves and their families in a new community. In addition to humanitarian needs such as shelter, food, and healthcare, World Learning believes that access to quality education is critical to empowering refugee children, adolescents, and adults in their new environment.

World Learning has a long history of supporting refugees, going back to the 1950s when we provided English language courses and coordinated homestays for Hungarian refugees at our School for International Training (SIT) campus in southern Vermont. A few decades later, we led a consortium of organizations that delivered skills assessment, English language learning, and cultural orientation programming to more than 250,000 refugees forced to flee during the Vietnam War.

Since 2014, World Learning has been a key partner of the Ministry of Education in Lebanon through the USAID-funded Quality Instruction Towards Access and Basic Education Improvement (QITABI) program to support Lebanon’s public school system and improve learning outcomes across literacy, numeracy, and social emotional learning, including ensuring equitable access to quality education for Syrian refugee children. And our Dirasa/School Bridging Program initiative, in partnership with UNICEF, ensures quality education for better learning outcomes for children whose schooling has been interrupted for more than two years, including Syrian refugees, host community children, and stateless children.

More recently, World Learning created the New Vermonter Education Program in partnership with the Ethiopian Community Development Council and Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation to provide temporary housing on the SIT campus and English language and cultural immersion courses to refugees. In addition, World Learning leads the Supporting Higher Education in Refugee Resettlement program, which aims to bring U.S. colleges and universities more deeply into the refugee resettlement process. Through an innovative collaboration with key refugee resettlement partners, this program builds the capacity of higher education institutions to directly support refugee resettlement efforts.

In addition, School for International Training, World Learning’s academic arm, offers humanitarian assistance study abroad and graduate-level programs in Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, and other countries so students can better understand and respond to issues connected with forced displacement and refugee resettlement.