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Refuge Rochester is now World Relief Western NY

About Us

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Global Reach


World Relief is a global Christian humanitarian organization whose mission is to empower the local church to serve the most vulnerable. We aim to tackle the world’s greatest problems with holistic, locally-driven solutions that lead to lasting change — whether in response to disasters, extreme poverty, violence, oppression or mass displacement and immigration. World Relief’s work in the United States, specifically, focuses on helping refugees and other immigrants in vulnerable situations rebuild their lives in a new country.

Local Impact


At World Relief Western NY, we come alongside refugees and other immigrants in vulnerable situations as they rebuild their lives in the United States. Rochester, NY has a long history of involvement in the resettlement of refugees under the United States Refugee Admissions Program, with over 16,000 refugees coming to WNY since 2002.

In 2018, three Rochester churches co-hosted the event "Loving the Stranger Among Us" and over 250 Christians from over 35 different local churches came together to consider how God could be asking us to respond to the ongoing global refugee crisis. Refuge Rochester was born as a direct result of that gathering, created as a way to respond to that question. Since then, we've focused on connecting Christians and churches with refugee families, and education and discipleship through events.

Beginning July 1, 2021, Refuge Rochester is World Relief Western NY, part of a national network of World Relief offices through which over 400,000 immigrants and refugees have been welcomed into this country. For decades, World Relief has empowered churches, community organizations and people like you to adapt to the challenges of the moment for the sake of refugees and other immigrants.

Church Centered

Working with the local church is not only a good strategy, it's at the very heart of our work. We believe that God gave us a plan to save our broken world, and that it begins with his church, and his people, leading the way. We want to see local churches creating and leading change in their communities.


We believe in transformation of the whole person mind, body and spirit. That's why our programs focus on addressing the root causes of poverty, vulnerability and injustice. Beyond physical change, we focus on driving mental, social and spiritual transformation.

plant growing from ground

We understand that lasting change requires more than quick fixes and band-aid solutions. We prioritize the leadership and participation of those we serve, whether people, churches or local institutions, as critical to creating and sustaining change. Many of our staff are immigrants themselves and have a deep understanding of the challenges our clients face.


Tiffany Wood
Office Director

Apryle Douglas
Finance Assistant

Yam Lamgadey
Resettlement Specialist

Tetiana Savchyn
Ukrainian Support Program Specialist

Ken Pitcher
Development Director

Beth Porteus
Finance Manager

Ladiva Gilchrist
Resettlement Specialist

Abdullahi Said
Community Engagement Intern

James Reid
Resettlement Program Manager

Elisabeth Stojkovic
Volunteer Coordinator

Viktoriia Salivonchyk
Ukrainian Support Program Specialist

Yussuf Muhando
Community Engagement Intern

Eric Lintala
Community Engagement Manager

Heritage Munyakuri
Church Mobilizer

Svitlana Trukhlinska
Ukrainian Support Program Specialist

Farha Tia
Resettlement & Placement Intern


At World Relief, we are committed to prayerful, efficient and thoughtful stewardship of every donation. When you invest in us, you can trust not only that your resources are being directed to the right places, but also that those resources are being used in the smartest, most efficient ways possible due to the collective expertise of our organization.

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