We felt like strangers, especially when you don’t speak the language, you can’t express your feelings. You don’t just feel hopelessness — you just feel like you don’t belong.” - Ekhlas Ahmed 


BELONG NC empowers refugees to lead and engage in the community through opportunities that promote education, employment, connections, and belonging.  Driven by the belief that everyone belongs in the community, we serve vulnerable populations by bridging education, language, opportunity, neighbors, and global awareness (BELONG).  BELONG NC is an opportunity for the local community to collectively sponsor, partner, engage, and advocate on behalf of our global neighbors.


Established in 2021, BELONG NC began partnering with refugee resettlement agencies, businesses, universities, faith organizations, and other nonprofits to deliver accessible programs that further the integration process of our immigrant neighbors.  Our program focus includes, but is not limited to: preschool, job skills coaching, employment opportunities for primary caregivers, and conversational English practice.


By 2026, BELONG NC aims to have 50% of its board seats filled by the refugee and immigrant populations.  At that time, our initial pilot site on Smithdale Drive will also be operated for the community by the community, encouraging previous participants to take on leadership and employment opportunities within the organization.  We believe that once given the tools and resources, BELONG NC programs will be most successful if guided by those it has served.  To belong one must believe that individual voices - regardless the language - matter, differences are invaluable to a neighborhood, empathy is practiced, and dreams are supported and celebrated by the greater community.  A community where everyone belongs.

BELONG NC is locally supported and globally driven.  We hope that our programs can serve as a vehicle for the greater community to further engage and support the most vulnerable among us. We look forward to partnering with local businesses, schools, and other nonprofits to deepen our community connections, thus creating a greater sense of belonging for all.