WXXI AM News

Connections: How faith-based groups are helping refugees in Rochester

Mar 19, 2019

A number of local faith-based groups are coming together to help refugees who served the U.S. military. The refugees – from Afghanistan and Iraq – have come to America on Special Immigrant Visas through an organization called No One Left Behind.

We discuss the current climate for refugees in the U.S., and we talk to local refugees about how they are adjusting to life in Rochester.

  • Ellen Smith, president of the Rochester chapter of No One Left Behind
  • Belal Ahmadi, interpreter for the U.S. military who arrived in the U.S. from Afghanistan in January 
  • Bashir Qayyum, interpreter for the U.S. military who arrived in the U.S. from Afghanistan in January 
  • Rev. Ken Pitcher, Grace Church, and executive director of Refuge Rochester
  • Rev. Jacqueline Nelson, Asbury First United Methodist Church
  • Rabbi Peter Stein, Temple B’rith Kodesh
  • Vicki Robinson, Messiah Lutheran Church
  • Chandee Searcy, member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints