FAQs

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

Resettlement 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 approach UNHCR 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 Cambridge, 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?

Please refer to this listing of resources available on the website of the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants: English Language Resource Directory

See also: State Programs Annual Overview

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

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

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

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.

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

How can I get involved in supporting refugees?

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:

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.