Refugee Connect

Refugee Connect was established in 2008 to connect local churches  in Austin, TX with ways to help refugees. In 2011, we began researching the situation for refugees in Europe. By 2016 our focus was on the youth -- particularly those traveling alone. We launched a network to work with churches, ministries and individuals that help refugee children and youth who travel alone (i.e., unaccompanied minors). Today, we continue our partnerships in Europe while we serve in the U.S. We are welcoming unaccompanied youth into our home through Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Foster Care Program, raising awareness of the need for more foster families, and investigating ways to help those who age out of the system while awaiting their asylum decision.

Our team brings both business and ministry backgrounds into our current work. Founder, Kaylee Kolditz, left her marketing career to become the global missions director for her home church in Austin, TX, before founding Refugee Connect in 2008 and becoming TEFL certified (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) in 2012 to support her work with refugees. Kaylee also served on the Children and Youth Task Force of the Refugee Highway Partnership (RHP) and is a member of the Lausanne Children-at-Risk (CAR) Issue Group Steering Committee.

John Kolditz oversees our partnerships with churches, NGOs and individuals interested in helping refugee youth through micro-enterprise initiatives. He has extensive experience as the business development director for media companies and has also served as an assistant pastor as well as in missions and community outreach roles with churches in New Jersey and Austin, TX.

The majority of our team is virtual.... comprised of the members of our network, Mobilised for Unaccompanied Minors (MUM). We are honored and humbled to work with them to engage with the Church as it reaches out to refugee youth in the community. Read letters from our MUM Network members here.

And, we have a big God who keeps showing up in unexpected ways! Through the love and support of the people He has brought into this work with us, particularly those on our prayer and financial teams, we are able to "go" and demonstrate to refugee kids that they are not alone and they are not forgotten. For this, we are truly and eternally grateful!

Left: 2015 Walk for Refugees, Team Austin
Right: 2015 Walk for Refugees, Team Jersey City