Stories

Abrahan’s Chromebook access helps build new life in America.

The Chromebook Abrahan received during a digital literacy course is helping him build a new life in America. As one of three Bridge Refugee Services clients from Cuba to participate in the course this summer, Abrahan uses the laptop daily to learn English, translate documents, and email the lawyer helping him apply for asylum. “Here,… Continue Reading

Increasing numbers of Cubans mean connections and community are crucial.

As the number of Cubans migrating to the United States continues to increase, Bridge Refugee Services has been welcoming those landing in East Tennessee by connecting them to one another and community resources. “Since October, more than 80,000 Cubans have arrived across the US,” said Bridge Case Manager Lydia Tarry. Roughly 60 who made their… Continue Reading

In Chattanooga, a Summer learning program offers long-term confidence.

Brothers Deng and Ding feel more confident about school this year thanks to the time they spent in a Summer learning program. “I was very happy they attended the summer school because they learned a lot of things like English, writing and reading and got confidence,” said their mother, Achok, who fled civil war in… Continue Reading

Like many kindergartners, Antoine has big dreams for his future.

“I want to be a doctor when I grow up,” he said. “I also want to be a pilot.” Antoine, 5, took the first steps towards achieving his dreams when he started kindergarten this month. “He was so excited to start school,” said his mother, Ange. Ange, a Congolese refugee who has spent the past… Continue Reading

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