Stories

Generosity from people spanning the globe brings four displaced Ukrainian women and their children safely to Oak Ridge.

Generosity from old friends, new ones, and strangers spanned the globe to bring four displacedUkrainian women and their children safely to Oak Ridge this past spring. “We met very helpful people all along,” Tetiana “Tania” Alfimova said. Tania and the other women – Mariia “Masha” Rudiuk, Olha “Olya” Kvach, and Olya’s mother,Tamara – are among… Continue Reading

From the safety of a friend’s home in Chattanooga, a couple struggles with news of the war raging in their native Ukraine.

From the safety of a friend’s home in Chattanooga, Mykhailo and Olena Murza struggle withnews of the war raging in their native Ukraine. “When it’s your home country, it’s really painful,” they said. The couple and their four children, ages 26 to 15, fled their home in Mykolaiv on Feb. 24 – thesame day Russian… Continue Reading

Bridge Refugee Services statement in support of our new Americans from Ukraine and their families

A tragedy is unfolding in real time, and while the invasion of Ukraine’s soil may seem halfway around the world, the consequences are very real here in our East Tennessee homes. Over the years since early 1980, Bridge resettled and served hundreds of refugees from Ukraine helping them to rebuild their lives after suffering persecution…. Continue Reading

An airport reunion sparks a renewed friendship.

When Swaiba arrived with her family for refugee resettlement in Chattanooga in early December, the last person she expected to greet them at the airport was a friend from her past. Swaiba had never heard of Chattanooga before she and her husband, Sami, were told they were being resettled there with their children after living… Continue Reading

Bridge Refugee Services client earned his master of accountancy and is now a tax associate in Nashville

Whenever Cedric Twizere sets a goal for himself, he visualizes himself achieving it. “So far, since I’ve been in the U.S., I’ve achieved most of the things I’ve tried to achieve,” hesaid. “The first thing was I wanted to come to UT. Then, get my bachelor’s degree – to graduate– and then go to a… Continue Reading

Technology helps Chattanooga clients connect to their new world

One year ago, six Chattanooga refugees who had little to no experience with technology now join Zoom meetings and send emails with ease on devices they proudly own. That’s thanks to private donations and a digital literacy course made possible through a partnership between Bridge and Tech Goes Home Chattanooga. “We started partnering with them… Continue Reading

​Young Client College-Bound Thanks to Youth Mentor Program

A Bridge Refugee Services youth mentor gave Juan Perdomo Ramirez the confidence he needed to pursue higher education. “She gave me hope,” Juan said.Juan, 23, is one of the refugees in Chattanooga enrolled in Bridge’s Youth Mentoring Program. The program pairs refugees between the ages of 15 and 24 who have been in the U.S…. Continue Reading

Couple reunites after six years

When Muhyidin came to Chattanooga in 2016, he made a decision. If his wife couldn’t join him within five years, he would go back home. He had left his country, a newlywed, in 2013 as one of hundreds of thousands fleeing ongoing conflict and ethnic struggle in his home city of Darfur. He and Arafa… Continue Reading

CHRISTMAS PROJECT GOES YEAR-ROUND FOR CHURCH GROUP

As the holidays approached last year, Vicki Suttle and Marsha Gentry went to a pastor at their church, seeking a way to better invest themselves in the lives of the people in their community. “We wanted to connect with people on more than a one-time thing,” Vicki said. The pastor steered them to Bridge Refugee… Continue Reading