Helping Unaccompanied Refugee Youth
Mobilized for Unaccompanied Minors
Posted by Kaylee K on Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Under: Unaccompanied Refugee Youth
It was an honor to share about unaccompanied refugee children and youth at this year’s Refugee Highway Partnership’s European Roundtable in Budapest last month. An honor, because while the news continues to be filled with horrific stories about abuses against these children and updates on governments that are reneging on commitments to help them, for a few days John and I got to be among people who are giving of themselves in remarkable ways for refugees. And, we got to hear stories of hope, perseverance and community from churches, volunteers, non-profits/NGOs, and refugees.
I am grateful for the time we had to focus on the needs of the refugee children and youth, and to talk about ways the church can fill the gap (you can get a short overview of our workshop in
shared by our friends at For Refugees). More so, though, what inspires and motivates me is the validation from all we met with that we must be a voice for unaccompanied refugee children and that the church can be a source of care, protection and love for them. This is what moves us forward as we take on several key initiatives.
We have our work cut out for us in the coming months as we build this network of ministries across Europe helping unaccompanied youth and as we work with the team that created the Love Europe app to add features so these youth can find help and avoid being trafficked. We are also looking at gaps in care, such as trauma programs or job skill training, so that we can determine how best to work with the churches to assist this young population who are currently labeled as refugees but who know their potential is tremendously greater. We are excited to dive into this work and invite you, your church, your ministry team, your community, to join us.
Find out more here:
Mobilized for Unaccompanied Minors
Unaccompanied Refugee Youth
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John and Kaylee Kolditz
Kaylee founded Refugee Connect in 2008. John joined the work in 2011 as we investigated the refugee situation in Europe. But our faith and cross-cultural journeys have been a work-in-progress for many years. Much of this blog reflects that. ************************************************ We met in Austin, TX, while volunteering at a serving event at Gateway Church and have been married since 2002. Marriage, parenting and ministry all require a great deal of intentionality, humility and true reliance on God for strength, wisdom, and grace. It is a journey we are grateful to be on together. Ultimately, what matters to us is building into meaningful relationships in ways that, to the best of our ability and by God's grace, demonstrate the love and hope Jesus freely offers to us all. ************************************************ We bring both business and ministry backgrounds into our current work. John started a business in his 20's and helped build several other businesses. He has also served with churches in a variety of roles including as an assistant pastor, director of community development, and missions board member. Kaylee left her marketing career to become the global missions director for our home church in Austin, TX, then founded a local refugee ministry, and became TEFL certified (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) in order to prepare for our work overseas. We have led short-term teams domestically and internationally, and served with a variety of cross-cultural ministries. In 2008, we sensed a call to build into the church in Europe, which was also around the time when God broke Kaylee’s heart for refugees. Since then, God has continued to weave together this heart for refugees, desire to serve alongside the church, and focus on His call to Europe.
Refugee Stories (4)
Unaccompanied Refugee Youth (7)
unaccompanied refugee children