Refugee Simulation Program Jan. 16

Standing (L to R): Sue Poyner, Brenda Welling, Karly Poyner, Angie Kelly, Owen Smith, Jake Poyner, Jordan Poyner; seated: Nancy Rooker, Dick Rooker, Bess Farrell take a break from cleaning and preparing the Villa in Fort Wayne as housing for Afghan refugee in northeast Indiana. Photo provided.

A refugee simulation program will take place in Warsaw for youth and adults on Jan. 16.

Nicole Kurut and Nyein Chan of Catholic Charities of Fort Wayne-South Bend will be coming to Warsaw on Jan. 16 to conduct a refugee simulation program at Sacred Heart gym.

The adult program runs from 3 to 5 p.m., and the youth program runs from 6 to 8 p.m.

Participants are gathered into groups of approximately six and are presented real-life situations of a refugee, according to information provided by Dick Rooker. This would cover a whole range of challenges from relocation, family stress, financial choices, how to find a job, how to balance a new environment with your culture and many other situations. As a group, participants will have to decide how to navigate through all these challenges. This process opens participants’ eyes on a very human level to everything a refugee faces and the struggles to overcome those challenges, the release states.

This program is an opportunity for the community members to gather, connect and pursue ways to care for lives that have been completely disrupted by events beyond their control, according to Rooker.

For more information, contact Kurut at or email the local Afghanistan refugee resettlement group at

In mid-November, community members gathered at the Warsaw Performing Arts Center to learn how Warsaw could aid the Afghan refugee resettlement effort in northern Indiana. Since then, attendees of the meeting and others have been commuting to Fort Wayne to prepare the Villa of the Woods for housing refugee families.

The Villa is an former nursing facility that will become temporary housing for the next group of refugees to reach the area. Many volunteers from Warsaw and surrounding communities have invested time and talent to clean and arrange rooms, sort and organize donated items, assemble shelving and create a comfortable, livable facility for the refugees. The effort is ongoing.

Anyone interested in learning how to participate and contribute can email