SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The “Refugee Resettlement in the Saratoga Region: What’s Happening and How to Help” panel discussion will be held on Wednesday, at 7 p.m. on the third floor of Saratoga Springs City Hall.  Panelists will include representatives of Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative (Immigrant ARC), US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), the Ukrainian American Cultural Center (Watervliet), the Giving Circle (Saratoga Springs), and the Adirondack Welcome Circle (Glens Falls). This panel discussion will kick off Saratoga Springs Peace Week.

The region has experienced two waves of refugees over the past twelve months, first seeing as many as 400 Afghans arrive after the takeover of their country by the Taliban, and Ukrainians who were displaced by the Russian invasion. According to the New York State Office for New Americans (ONA), New York has received more Ukrainian refugees than any other state, totaling over 14,000. The majority of refugees arrived in New York City, with around 275 settling in upstate counties as of August, according to ONA. The exact number of refugees is difficult to determine however, due to the fact Ukrainians arrive to the U.S. for a wide variety of circumstances.

“Refugees are vital members of our community,” Sara Lowry said, a panelist representing USCRI. “USCRI is always honored and humbled to work with them and the community to support a dignified transition to a new life in New York.”

Panelist Chuck Cumming of the Adirondack Welcome Circle, who sponsors a Ukrainian family in the Glens Falls area said, “it’s amazing how many people are anxious to contribute time, energy, tangible goods and/or money, to help refugees.  All that’s needed is to tell people how.”

The program is free and open to the public. It is specifically offered on September 21 in observance of the International Day of Peace. Anyone with questions is encouraged to call (518) 306-1313, or email saratogaimmigration@gmail.com.