Refugee Definition


Migration has been an integral part of human activity for as long as people have inhabited the Earth. Whether moving as individuals, families, or tribes, migration is an age-old response to the physical need for food, shelter and security, and the psychological need of belonging and exploration.

As environmental degradation, resource scarcity, and war continue to displace more people globally each year, social structures created to deal with migration are struggling to ensure the safety and security of all. In the United States, many nonprofit organizations have been created to fill gaps in service provisions, such as teaching English and basic hygiene skills. With limited budgets, many refugee service providers cannot afford to take on the challenge of organizing, networking, and fundraising on their own.

Refugees Welcome! is a 501(c)3 nonprofit embedded in the University of Massachusetts’s Center for Peace, Development and Democracy. [RW!]’s mission is to strengthen and streamline immigrant services across the greater Boston area. The organization does this by leading immigrant service providers through a participatory line of inquiry to solve the most pressing issues facing migrants. [RW!] serves as a platform for organizing immigrant services, provides network and capacity building training, advocates for the expansion of refugee services, and assists service providers by helping to fill any programmatic and/or financial gaps through direct fundraising and volunteer coordination.

To assist refugee service providers, Refugees Welcome! focuses on four thematic areas (or teams); Research, Communication, Capacity Building, Technology, and Grant Writing. Our Research Team is embedded in the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston and works alongside our volunteer and capacity building programs to develop a programmatic structure that is geared towards our clients needs. Together with hundreds of service providers across the Greater Boston Area, Refugees Welcome! has pioneered institution building and cross department cooperation.