jumpstart for refugees – OUR FIRST U.S. BASED PROGRAM!

There are currently 5.6 million Syrian refugees worldwide.

The U.S. has admitted around 21,000 Syrian refugees. That is less than 1 percent of the global Syrian refugee population. Karam Foundation is committed to providing Smart Aid for Syrian families that have been resettled in the United States and equipping them with the support they need in order to become contributing members of their local host communities. Jumpstart for Refugees is Karam Foundation's deep impact, US community-driven response.

Help us "jumpstart" the lives of Syrian refugee families in the US – learn how you can support families today!





Car program

Driven families, often emotionally and physically isolated need help helping themselves with purchasing of vehicles and car insurance and getting their driver's license.

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Job and Education Advancement 

Support for job and vocational training certification as well as higher educational opportunities.


Emergency Assistance on a Needs Basis

Families sometimes run into severe circumstantial difficulties such as low income housing eviction, legal and other immediate financial crises.


Referrals to Specialized community networks or Organizations 

Often individuals are in need of basic introductions into new social circles, providing a foundation of acceptance and tolerance.


To be resettled in the United States, syrian refugees must go through a rigorous vetting process that involves:

  1. A series of interviews with the UNHCR to determine eligibility, a process that could take 18-24 months alone;

  2. Eight government agencies;

  3. Six security databases;
  4. Five separate background checks;
  5. Four biometric security checks – that means fingerprints, checked against databases;
  6. Three separate, in-person interviews;
  7. Two interagency security checks running against criminal, intelligence, and terrorism databases; and
  8. An additional layer of screening, involving additional interviews with US intelligence agencies and the State Department.
We are so grateful for the support we have received to help alleviate the burdens we face. We also hope to get more community support. With a car, our daughter was able to find a better work opportunity that is not only close to home, but also does not require her to work odd hours. We know it will take time, but at least some things are now becoming easier to manage after being away from our home, stretched over miles and time.
— Zahra, 43, Troy, MI

Where we're working

There are 21,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. – the refugee crisis has expanded beyond the borders of Syria and its neighboring countries. These are our neighbors, classmates, they are people in need looking for opportunities to rebuild their lives and build a promising future for their children. We may not be able to end the war, but we can make a difference. Our Jumpstart program currently supports 32 families across 8 states, including:  Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Massachusetts

Over 70 individuals have gained steps toward social and economic mobility by getting their driver's license, finding advantageous job opportunities, living in safer and cost effective housing, attending advanced English courses and accessing essential community networks. 

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thank you to our supporters

Chelsea Handler has sponsored the education of dozens of Syrian refugee children for more than a year now, helping stabilize Syrian refugee families living in Turkey so that their children do not have to work, and can instead access a quality education. In the last few months, Chelsea's generosity has extended to support Syrian families that had recently been resettled in the United States. In May 2017, comedian, talkshow host, and best-selling author, Chelsea Handler made a generous contribution to Karam Foundation's pilot Jumpstart program for Syrian refugees, allowing us to provide transportation assistance and overall support to over 17 Syrian refugee families in the U.S. resettled Syrian families across 8 states. Our assistance program for refugee families in the U.S. evolved from our Smart Aid philosophy – providing what is needed to those who need it by asking one simple question: What do you need? Stay tuned for more updates!

access and opportunity can make a direct impact

Driving is universal. We want to learn right away, get better jobs, improve our English and rebuild our lives for our families.
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With a car, families are able to gain access to better job opportunities, enroll and attend English language acquisition courses. Having a car also leads to successful social integration and community engagement. Getting on your own two feet starts with community inclusivity, a "jumpstart" to acclimation. Being able to access available resources and opportunities will allow motivated individuals to provide for their families and contribute to their new community. 

Now that we have a car, there is greater opportunity to rebuild our lives and improve our situation. We can finally move forward!

How you can make a difference


YOU CAN: employ a Syrian refugee, connect a family to a job training or certification, advanced ESL courses and/or scholarship opportunities, expand community networks for families in the areas of resettlement and more! 

GIVE KARAM: Your support will open doors for newly resettled Syrian refugee families – equipping them with the tools and resources they need in order to build successful futures in their new home