KOMU8 Features CCCNMO work with Ukrainian Refugees

Xinyi Luo, KOMU 8 Reporter | Apr 22, 2022 | Watch the story on KOMU8

COLUMBIA – ​The Biden administration announced plans Thursday to expedite the arrival of Ukrainian refugees, creating a new system that will allow ordinary citizens and organizations such as churches to sponsor them. 

Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO) has over 45 years of history helping refugees resettlement in mid-Missouri. Facing this new plan, Dan Lester, CCCNMO executive director, said they are still waiting for more information from the federal government and their national partners. 

“We’re sort of learning about this new sponsorship program that the federal government is proposing, right along with everybody else,” Lester said. 

However, they keep doing what they can to help the local Ukraine refugee community. 

Whitney Cravens, a refugee services staff member in CCCNMO, came back from Poland after helping Ukraine refugees for 10 days. Now, she is helping people from Ukraine, who settled in this area before Russia’s current invasion, file Affidavit of Relationship (AOR) forms to help their families resettle here through the Lautenberg Program. 

“I think they are eager,” Cravens said. “They want to help their family. They want to bring them here as quickly as possible.”

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