The U.N. estimates that more than 4 million Syrians have fled the country since the start of the civil war there four years ago, making it the worst refugee crisis in a quarter century.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says the total number of refugees that have left Syria could be more than 4.25 million by the end of the year. An additional 7.6 million people are internally displaced.

Refugees Get Friends In Powerful Places With Seattle Job Program

Jul 1, 2015
Masar Altaie, right, with KUOW's Kim Malcolm.
KUOW Photo/Hannah Burn

Kim Malcolm talks with refugee Masar Altaie about her experience in Tatweer, a Seattle-based employment program run out of Jewish Family Service of Seattle. Tatweer helps connect refugees with local mentors in their fields. For information on how to volunteer, go here.

Cheu Chang, right, at the Indochinese Farm Project in Woodinville in the mid-80s.
Courtesy of WSU Extension/Sharon Coleman

If you’ve bought one of those big flower bouquets at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, there’s a good chance a Hmong farmer sold it to you.

This story is part of an occasional series about individuals who don't have much money or power but do have a big impact on their communities.

Almost 70,000 refugees — victims of war, hardship and persecution — are allowed into the U.S. each year. But settling into their new homes can be a challenge, from learning English to figuring out how to turn on the dishwasher.

Five years ago today, an earthquake devastated the lives of millions of Haitians. Hundreds of thousands died, and many more were displaced from their homes. Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd went to Brockton, Mass., to speak with a group of Haitians still struggling to adjust to life in America.

Burmese Refugee Yearns For Her Lost Father

Jan 6, 2015
Sara Ling hopes to return to Burma to search for her missing father.
KUOW Photo/Amran Aden

Sara Ling is from Burma. When she was a child, her father disappeared. That's why her family left their country.

"Everything about my country is damaged," Ling said. "No hope besides to escape our country to make a new life." 

Burmese immigrants, like Ling's family, were the largest refugee group to settle in the United States from 2000 to 2012. 

Ross Reynolds speaks with Sarah Tran, director of development at the Vietnamese Friendship Association, about the organization's programs to tutor immigrant parents and students in the skills they need to get through high school. 

Number Of Refugees On The Rise

May 21, 2014
Flickr Photo/United Nations Photo

Ross Reynolds talks with Judith Kumin, former United Nation's official and current professor of International Human Rights at the University of New Hampshire, about why the number of displaced people in the world is on the rise.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

On a recent afternoon, about a dozen Somali women talk in spurts as they weave 4-inch metal needles through a basket.

It doesn't look like therapy, but in a way, it is.

Flickr Photo/European Commission DG ECHO

Marcie Sillman speaks with Moses Monynhial Dut, a student and maintenance engineer for Seattle's Smith Tower, about his journey out of South Sudan and how he views the conflict today.

Bhutani Refugee Bridges A Cultural Gap

Oct 18, 2013
Courtesy of Allan Kafley

In Tukwila, Wash., a growing Bhutanese community is slowly adapting to modern American life while at the same time wanting to keep their Bhutani roots alive. Allan Kafley finds himself in a perfect position to help bridge these two worlds.

"The number of Syrians forced to seek shelter abroad since civil war began in March 2011 passed the 2 million mark on Tuesday with no sign of the outflow ending soon," the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports. Most are in neighboring nations.

About 1 million of the refugees, as we've previously reported, are children.

Identity Crisis

Aug 13, 2013
Courtesy of Jen

For our last week of the summer we bring you stories of change, challenge and identity!

Hosts Carlos Nieto and Isaac Noren speak about what it means to be themselves and how others view them. Isaac Noren takes us into to the mind of a girl born in the wrong body and tells us about how she’s adjusting to her new life. Then Srikar Penumaka gives us an inside look on a religious refugee from Bhutan, how he’s adapted to American culture and how he’s slowly trying to bring his two worlds together through technology.

Hopefully today's podcast will make you think about who you are and where you come from.

RadioActive is KUOW's youth radio program, and all the stories here are produced by young people age 16-21. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Every year, hundreds of refugees come to Washington state to escape persecution, conflict or violence in their home countries. Washington consistently ranks as one of the top 10 states for new arrivals.

Many families come here after waiting long stretches in a refugee camp where food, water and shelter is a daily concern. Yet once they have resettled in the Seattle area, their struggles are often far from over. Some agencies that work with refugees in King County say they’ve seen an alarming rise in homelessness within this population of newcomers but they’re stymied by how to measure the increase.

Magdaleno Rose-Avila and Enrique Cerna
CASA Latina / Facebook

Magdaleno Rose-Avila is the first director of Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. He was selected by Mayor Mike McGinn for his decades of experience working with diverse communities in pursuit of human rights.