With languages, you are at home anywhere.
-Edmund de Wall
A refugee is a person who has been forced to flee their home because of violence and persecution. They live in camps that are created to be temporary, yet on average a refugee will live 18-24 years in a camp before they are invited to live in a new country. Each year around 200 refugees are relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee, where they will find safety and a new home at last. At our center we serve people from more than 30 different countries and they are united by one urgent and fundamental need: to speak English. We are one of the largest Refugee support organizations in Knoxville, offering free English courses, transportation to our courses and childcare during those courses to our students. It is our mission to equip the refugees of Knoxville with the ability to speak our language so that they can successfully establish a life in our beautiful part of the world here in East Tennessee.
When a refugee is notified that they are being relocated, they have no choice as to which country will be their new home, let alone which area of that country. Call us biased, but we think getting the ticket to East Tennessee is pretty close to winning the lottery! Unfortunately, our beautiful town has many challenges to overcome for these refugees who arrive here with absolutely nothing. They don't even have our language. The heart and soul of our organization is to give Knoxville's refugee the most basic tool that they need to survive: English. However, there are many other obstacles that they face here in East Tennessee that we try to help them overcome. For starters, we don't have easily accessible public transportation. We also don't have dozens of non-profit programs to help refugees with basic needs that they might find in larger cities. What we do have is the spirit of Southern Hospitality. So we invite you to get involved and join us in giving them a big 'Ol Southern welcome! After all, it's what we're known for.
to Knoxville, Tennessee
Our mission is to ensure that the refugees who are relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee are equipped with the most fundamental tools necessary to thrive: Our Language.
Our volunteer programs range from teaching ESL courses, providing childcare for parents during ESL courses, driving a van to bring people to and from the many other programs associated with helping our new neighbors navigate life in a foreign country. We also offer donation services such as an ongoing toddler clothing drive, stocking the pantry and crock-pot cooking classes.
CFE is 100% volunteer based which means 100% of the money that is donated goes to supporting our refugee programs. Even donations as little as $1 a month will put about 10 boxes of pasta in our food pantry. $5 a month will buy a treasured ESL text book. We are greatly thankful for any form of support.