Millions of frightened children and families are being forced to flee for their lives from conflict-ridden countries around the world and the number of refugees is rising daily. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), 1 the number of refugees and internally displaced people has reached its highest point since World War II. In a global context, that means one in every 113 people have been forced to flee their home. If you become a refugee today, your chance of going back home is lower than it has ever been, anytime in the last 30 years.
California ranks as the number one state in the U.S. to host refugees and Santa Clara County has been designated as a “Refugee-Impacted County” because of the large numbers of refugees residing here.2 Although we are in the heart of Silicon Valley, there is a great disparity in income and equality. In Santa Clara County, nearly 18.7 percent of the population cannot afford basic monthly necessities without financial assistance, according to the Supplemental Poverty Measure.3 A lack of resources and income means many refugees, particularly those with little to no English language skills, are falling through the cracks of our system.
After more than a decade working towards building a successful program to help refugees resettle, PRERNA was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2015 to increase humanitarian services to refugee families in the U.S.
We are meeting a vital need in the Bay Area counties of Santa Clara and Alameda by providing accessible support services that refugee families desperately seek. PRERNA gives families the structure and support they require to not only resettle but to thrive in their new country. Our services offer guidance in obtaining the essential needs of basic housing, supplies, healthcare, education, employment and cultural assimilation to help families settle in successfully. This continuum care leads them on a path towards becoming sustainable members of society.
- PRERNA, is an all-volunteer non-profit organization. Over 96 percent of donations received in 2016 were allocated to program services.
- PRERNA believes in complete transparency of services and donations for the families’ welfare.
- As part of program services, PRERNA helps provide the first month rent, a security deposit and assistance with bills to set up a computer, Internet services and a cell phone for communications. This helps families become digitally competent and relevant.
- PRERNA also works on a continuum basis without a 90-120 day fixed timeline and extends services based on the evolution of the families’ needs for up to five years.
- PRERNA has an all-women board and over 90% of volunteers are women.
- PRERNA actively believes in the concept of “Paying it Forward”, and has resettled refugees who are now volunteers helping newly arrived refugee families.
- PRERNA believes in involving youth in our community as part of the program, which influences future generations to show resilience, gratitude and societal innovation. These experiences are very important as the youth population increases globally.
- PRERNA's impact is evidenced through a qualitative approach rather than quantitative policy. Our volunteers practice a high-touch model of building relationships with individuals and families.
- PRERNA has built an ecosystem of partner services to help complement the activities available through like-minded organizations and provide the best outcome for assimilating refugee families.4
- Unlike national refugee resettlement agencies, we do not receive government funding and rely solely on donations to help refugees.
With your support and generosity, we are able to give hope to individuals and whole families and help change their lives for the better. PRERNA ensures that your precious donations are spent wisely and provide the most benefit to all the refugees we serve. Give a gift so that refugees can find hope, help and healing today.