Before submitting an inquiry to our info at refugepoint dot org address, please review responses these FAQs.

Pathways to Safety FAQs Careers FAQs Contact FAQs Organizational FAQs Other FAQs

Pathways to Safety FAQs

I’m a refugee who needs help or know a refugee who needs help. How can I bring my case to your attention?

We are not equipped to respond to direct requests for assistance. We conduct our own identification of refugees in need of help in the locations where we work. We very rarely act on third-party referrals or self-referrals. Refugees in need of assistance in their asylum countries should review country-specific information found here and contact your nearest UNHCR office and local NGOs for assistance. If this concerns a refugee in the U.S. or the relative of a refugee in the U.S., please direct your inquiries to the agency that originally sponsored the case. We regret that we are unable to respond to such inquiries.

Does RefugePoint provide any direct services to refugees in the U.S.?

No. All of our resettlement work is on the “sending” side rather than the “receiving” side in the destination countries. Many other excellent agencies help refugees after they arrive in the U.S. Our office in Boston, Massachusetts is our headquarters office. We do not have U.S.-based clients, so there are no client services available at our headquarters office.

Which agencies help refugees in Massachusetts?

How can I find agencies that help refugees in other parts of the U.S.?

If your inquiry pertains to refugees in the U.S. (our work focuses on refugees abroad), please consult the following resources:

  • Please refer to this interactive map provided by the Office of Refugee Resettlement within the Department of Health and Human Services: State Programs Annual Overview
  • Refugee Council USA
  • Welcome.us
  • How does the U.S. resettlement program work?

    Please refer to this information provided by the U.S. Department of State: Admissions Index

    I am in the U.S. and I would like to foster or adopt a refugee child.

    Within the U.S., a foster care program for unaccompanied refugee minors (children under 18 years old) exists where families can support refugee orphans or other children separated from their parents. The two U.S. agencies that manage the unaccompanied refugee minors program are Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Both institutions have affiliate offices across the country. Please consult the following links for more information:

    I would like to sponsor a refugee family in my area.

    Designated resettlement agencies contracted by the U.S. Department of State are required to be the official sponsors of all refugees arriving in the U.S. These agencies welcome assistance from local individuals and institutions in “co-sponsoring” refugee families. This map will help you find an agency in your area to contact: State Programs Annual Overview

    If your inquiry pertains to the Sponsor Circle Program for Afghans or Ukrainians, please refer to the Sponsor Circles website. The Sponsor Circle Program is a community-led resettlement initiative that supports everyday Americans in taking on the responsibility of welcoming Afghan and Ukrainian newcomers to their communities.

    I am a refugee in Kenya who is seeking to reunite with my family members who live in destination/third countries, can RefugePoint help me?

    RefugePoint’s Family Reunification Navigation Assistance Program in Kenya is pleased to invite requests for assistance from refugees in Kenya seeking to reunite with their parent(s), spouse, adult child(ren), or sibling(s) who reside in destination/third countries. Third countries means countries that are outside of Kenya that are not the country of origin for the refugees who are seeking reunification. Third countries include countries where loved ones have been resettled or secured a durable solution through education, labor mobility, or sponsorship pathways.

    RefugePoint will assist eligible refugees in exploring family reunification visa options, provide information regarding reunification or other complementary pathways opportunities, and help eligible applicants navigate the process of completing the necessary paperwork and processing steps. This may include providing guidance and/or referrals to connect refugees to legal service providers where needed. Refugees in Kenya and their parent(s), spouse, adult child(ren), or sibling(s) abroad will need to meet the legal criteria for the visa programs offered by the destination/third countries.
    PLEASE NOTE: This is *not* a new pathway for family reunification. RefugePoint will merely help refugees in Kenya understand their legal rights and navigate existing visa pathways offered by destination/third countries. Refugees may also apply on their own for these existing visa pathways.

    Program Criteria:
    Refugees in Kenya with the following family members in destination/third countries are invited to send requests for navigation assistance:
    ● Spouse (wife or husband)
    ● Parent(s), if the refugee in Kenya is an unmarried child below 21yrs. In addition to biological parents, depending on the eligibility requirements for the destination country, adoptive parents, step-parents, or legal guardians may qualify.
    ● Adult child(ren), although eligibility depends on requirements set by the destination/third country.
    ● Full biological siblings, although eligibility depends on requirements set by the destination/third country and processing may take many years.

    Requests for Assistance:
    Refugees in Kenya meeting the above requirements are invited to send requests for assistance in receiving family reunification navigation support to familyreunification@refugepoint.org. Please provide the following information, and attach the requested documents:
    1. Proof of refugee status in Kenya (Refugee ID, Refugee Recognition Letter); Proof of registration with UNHCR/DRS;
    3. Details of the family member(s) in the third country including name, relationship, contact, and country of residence for each;
    4. Documents proving the relationship with the relative/s in the third country (e.g. birth and/or marriage certificate);
    5. Proof of legal status of the relative(s) in destination/third country (e.g. residency card, passport etc.);
    6. Contact information of the refugee(s) in Kenya;

    Information Sharing:
    The information refugees share with requests for assistance sent to
    familyreunification@refugepoint.org will be used by RefugePoint to screen cases and determine which requests require which assistance. The data and documents shared with RefugePoint will be stored securely, and will only be shared internally within RefugePoint if necessary. If there is need for the information to be shared externally, then RefugePoint will seek verbal or written consent from the client first.

    If the request for family reunification navigation assistance appears to potentially meet eligibility requirements for an existing visa pathway, a staff member of RefugePoint will contact you. Please be patient as demand for these services is expected to be high. Please do not send multiple requests for the same case.
    If a viable visa route is identified, the visa application requirements will vary, and will be determined by the visa programs available for family reunification to the destination/third country. RefugePoint does not set or control these requirements.
    Processing timelines by the destination country will also vary, and will depend on many factors: the speed of application filing by the anchor/host relative in the destination country, the pace of the government’s review and approval/denial of the application (considering any application backlogs), and the speed in completing other required processing steps. Typically, successful visa applications can take from many months up to several years. RefugePoint does not set or control processing timelines.

    Financial Cost of Family Reunification:
    Please be informed that RefugePoint does not charge for its services, and will not accept any money, gifts or other compensation in exchange for its services. An offer of money, gifts or favors will be considered a fraud attempt and will disqualify the applicant.

    While RefugePoint’s services are offered free of charge, the governments that offer visa programs may charge application fees, biometric processing fees, health screening fees, and DNA testing fees. There may also be other associated costs, such as flight costs, which are typically paid by the anchor/host relative. As part of the application process, the destination country may require the anchor/host relative to demonstrate adequate financial resources for supporting the relative reuniting with them.
    RefugePoint staff will do their best to provide accurate information regarding these costs as part of the navigation assistance it provides. However, RefugePoint is unable to provide any guarantees regarding costs. It is possible that unanticipated costs may arise, or that destination/third countries may change their fees at any point in time.

    In some cases, refugees in Kenya may be required to travel to Nairobi to complete interviews and other steps required for application processing. Financial assistance may be available from RefugePoint to assist with costs of related transportation and short-term accommodation, but is not guaranteed. A RefugePoint staff member will provide more information on these costs and options for assistance if this need arises.

    RefugePoint is committed to respecting and promoting human rights in general, including the welfare and rights of children. RefugePoint maintains a zero-tolerance policy for any form of discrimination, harassment, abuse, intimidation or exploitation, and any acts that infringe the rights of children.

    Please report any known or suspected fraud, exploitation, abuse, or other misconduct to ethics@refugepoint.org

    Careers FAQs

    How can I get involved as a volunteer, intern or staff?

    Please refer to our Careers section for more information about volunteer, internship, and job opportunities at RefugePoint. We only accept applications for positions listed on our website (U.S. and international positions).

    Internship and volunteer opportunities are infrequent with RefugePoint; please feel free to reach out to the below organizations to inquire about their opportunities:

    Volunteer Opportunities – Greater Boston:

    • Cambridge Community Services
    • Catholic Charities
    • English for New Bostonians
    • International Institute of Boston
    • Jewish Vocational Service
    • Refugee Immigrant Assistance Center
    • Refugee Immigration Ministry

    I am interested in a career in the refugee services field. Do you grant informational interviews?

    We regret that we typically do not have the capacity to grant informational interviews.

    Contact FAQs

    How can I request a staff member of RefugePoint to speak at my event?

    Please send a request by email to info at refugepoint dot org, detailing the event. While we are not able to fulfill all requests, we would be happy to hear from you and will consider each opportunity.

    I would like to connect with a RefugePoint staff member to learn more about your organization.

    At the present time we do not have sufficient capacity to respond to such requests. If you have specific questions, you may email us at info at refugepoint dot org and we will do our best to respond.

    How can I contact your Nairobi office?

    All inquiries related to our Nairobi office are managed from our headquarters office in the U.S. If you do not find the answer to your question on our website, please send your inquiry to info at refugepoint dot org and we will direct it to the appropriate staff member. We do not publicly share the physical address of our Nairobi office.

    Who do I contact for media inquiries?

    For media inquiries, please email: communications@refugepoint.org

    Organizational FAQs

    When and why did the agency change its name from Mapendo International to RefugePoint?

    We changed the agency name to RefugePoint on June 23, 2011. The agency was originally named Mapendo International, in honor of Rose Mapendo, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, whom our founder, Sasha Chanoff, met and assisted prior to establishing the agency. Sasha was inspired by Rose’s fortitude despite the horrific experiences she had survived. Mapendo also roughly translates to “great love,” which seemed fitting for a humanitarian organization.

    A few factors influenced the decision to change the agency’s name. 1) Rose Mapendo decided to start her own foundation focused on women and peace-building using her name, which would have created confusion. 2) We learned that using the name Mapendo in our Africa operations created a perception that we were devoted solely to assisting Congolese refugees, which was not the case. 3) Many donors and other stakeholders advised us that we would benefit from a more descriptive name that gives an indication of what we do.

    Despite the name change, we continue to honor Rose Mapendo and her important work.

    What is the significance of the name RefugePoint?

    We think of “RefugePoint” as the turning point in refugees’ lives when we are able to help put them on a path to safety, hope and stability. We are a point of refuge in many refugees’ lives and a fork in the road where things begin to improve for them.

    Other FAQs

    I am looking for ways to support RefugePoint's mission. What can I do?

    Please refer to our Careers section for more information about volunteer, internship, or job opportunities at RefugePoint. Additionally, we can always use advocates to help raise awareness about the plight of refugees worldwide and our work. Here are ways you can help:

  • Sign up for our newsletter to learn about our latest work, events, and more.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
  • We gratefully accept monetary, stock, and crypto donations online at donate.refugepoint.org. Regretfully, we are unable to accept in-kind donations.
  • Click here for more ways to give or email our development team: giving@refugepoint.org.
  • For career opportunities with RefugePoint, including internships, please visit our career page and follow the instructions on ApplicantStack.

    Thank you for your concern for refugees and your interest in our work!

    I am a student doing research on refugee issues. Can you provide written information or grant an interview?

    Beyond what is available on our website, we regret that we do not have the capacity to provide additional information or interviews.

    Do you award grants to community based organizations?

    While we occasionally pass funds through to partners for specific services, we are unable to entertain unsolicited grant proposals.