Thank you for Supporting International Friendsgiving

A CWS Annual Marketplace Event

Proceeds raised directly support our clients’ urgent needs including advanced medical care and accessible housing for those who need help the most.

The filming of our CWS Marketplace/International Friendsgiving videos occurred during a test kitchen event when the women shared their recipes with each other and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank staff team. We are grateful for our special partnership with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and their generosity in opening their kitchen to us. We are also thankful for the talents of the photography/editing team of James Yutzy and Michael Bowlin.

CLICK ON A  dish


Dinner Discussion Prompts


Refugees are, by definition, fleeing violence, persecution or other threats to their lives. They do not have a choice to stay in, or return to, their home countries.


Once refugees are settled, they pay taxes, start businesses and contribute to their communities in many ways.


New refugees are likely to take unfilled or unwanted jobs, and as they settle in to their new communities, they often create businesses that provide work to others.


Refugees are fleeing dangerous and violent situations. They commit fewer crimes than citizens in most communities where they live.


85 percent of refugees worldwide are welcomed by developing countries.


The crises that force refugees to flee affect people from all aspects of society – regardless of ethnicity, education, class, or religion.

What do you think of when you think of “home”?
What does it mean to survive? What does it mean to live?
Why do families uproot their lives, leave their homes and emigrate (or flee) to another country?
When you hear stories in the news of refugees on the move, do you consider the difficulty of the journey and the trauma experienced?
What factors do you think influence policies about refugee resettlement? What is the current system for being admitted into our country?
What do you know about refugee resettlement in your community?
Do you know of people in your community who are refugees or immigrants? What are some of the challenges they may be facing?
What are the ways a community can be supportive and welcoming? What can we do as individuals?
How can we follow-up and advocate to our representatives to bring more refugees into the U.S.?
How can we advocate and spread awareness to our network?

A person forced to flee their home country to escape war, violence or persecution.


The careful selection by governments for purposes of lawful admission of the most vulnerable refugees who can neither return to their home country nor live in safety in neighboring host countries.

Read More about Resettlement →

Meet Olha


Dish: Vinegret
(Cold Beet Salad)

My name is Olha. My Motherland is Ukraine. A year ago I moved to this country of great opportunities and wonderful people with sincere hearts! I have many tools for self-expression: knitting, cooking, making flower bouquets, and soap making. It is a creative process. I have adored cooking since my childhood, since everyone in the family cooked really well and it was something that brought us all together and united at all times.

What are some things that you wish people knew about your country of origin?

Ukrainian land is fertile and rich. The people that live there are very hardworking, generous, and independent. Ukrainians are now defending their democratic values and precious land at the cost of their own lives.

Украинская земля плодородная, богатая. На ней живут очень трудолюбивые, щедрые и независимые украинцы и сейчас ценой собственной жизни защищают свои демократические ценности.


Meet Dedjingabe

Central African Republic

Dish: Kanda

Dedjingabe enjoys cooking for her family and has taught her two oldest daughters how to cook as well. Dedjingabe enjoys the food from her native country and wants her daughters to learn so they won’t forget the traditional meals they ate when they lived in Chad.

Click to Watch →
How Do You Meet People?

Meet Spogmy


Dish: Chana Pilau

Spogmy's family were forced to flee Afghanistan when Kabul fell to the Taliban as their connection to the US military meant their home was no longer safe for them. Spogmy has 3 children and loves creating things with her hands, especially sewing and crocheting. She is overjoyed to be in a society that allows her independence and the freedom to sell her handcrafts. She is excited to share her skills with her new community.


If Someone Were to Visit Afghanistan

If someone were to visit Afghanistan, I would recommend them to go and visit the major rivers. The fish are so delicious, you can get freshly caught fish cooked fresh for you and it’s wonderful. There is also a place in the capital that my family used to enjoy visiting. It’s on the water and many people go and sit and enjoy looking at the water or wading in it as a family , they’ve made a beautiful area where people can sit and cook as a family on the shore as well, they catch fresh fish and cook it right there. There are many other beautiful places that one can visit, however, I’ve never been to those places, because there are a little bit further away from where I used to live.

Meet Muddsara


Dish: Samosa

My name is Muddsara Fozia, and I am proud to hail from Pakistan. I find great satisfaction in household chores, particularly cooking and sewing. I have 2 daughters so I like to sew beautiful things for them. Some of my culinary passions include preparing dishes like biryani, samosas, chicken rolls, and more. When it comes to sweets, I enjoy making delectable treats such as semolina and coconut halwa, kheer, makandi halwa, and carrot halwa. In all aspects of my life, I firmly believe in the values of hard work and dedication.

If Someone Wants to go to Pakistan

I think that he must visit Rabwah, the city of our Ahmadiyya community. Apart from this one should also visit Lahore and enjoy the famous foods of the Lahore. One should also visit the northern areas of Pakistan like Mursee, Abbottabod and Kasmir.

The Pakistan refugees that CWS Harrisburg welcomes are part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, a persecuted minority in Pakistan. They are not the only persecuted minority, but the refugees our office has welcomed from Pakistan have been a part of this community exclusivity. 

This is because Pakistan has an anti-blasphemy law, which means that anybody not considered a Muslim by the Pakistani government are considered heretics, which may result in persecution, violence and discrimination against heretics. Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are considered heretics, because they believe the Messiah has come, which other Muslims consider blasphemous, therefore they are not considered Muslims.

Meet Alaa'


Dish: Riz Bi Haleeb
(Rice Pudding)

Alaa', a woman of many talents, finds joy in the delicate art of embroidery, the creative freedom of drawing, and above all, the comforting rhythm of preparing traditional Syrian meals. Her culinary creations, steeped in the rich flavors of her homeland, have become a beacon of community gatherings.Nurturing a dream to one day own a restaurant and don the hat of a professional chef, Alaa' believes in the transformative power of simple, traditional meals. For her, each dish is more than just sustenance—it's a bridge, connecting hearts and minds, and a platform from which she can share the vibrant culture of her Syrian roots. Through her food, Alaa' speaks a language of unity, resilience, and enduring hope.

Have you encountered any cultural stereotypes or misconceptions about your country of origin?


CWS Marketplace

Shop Small. Shop Local. Support Women Refugees.
CWS Marketplace empowers women refugees in the greater Harrisburg area through entrepreneurial opportunities and activities as well as foster local community engagement through art to encourage dialogue and an exchange of culture for women refugees, their families, and local community members.
Learn More

Seamless Tactics Series with Durre Sharif

Special Feature on Church World Services of Harrisburg
Hosted by Wen Tan, Founder of Tailor Made Solutions

This special feature is brought you by Church World Services of Harrisburg. Church World Service is a faith based organization transforming communities around the globle through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster.


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November 23, 2024

CWS Harrisburg offers just and sustainable services to local refugees, immigrants, asylum-seekers, and other uprooted people seeking safety and the opportunity to rebuild their lives.

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Provide support to refugees, immigrants, asylum-seekers, and other uprooted people who are seeking safety and the opportunity to rebuild their lives.

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We are so grateful to live and work in such a welcoming community! Are you looking for ways to connect with local refugees and immigrants?

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Thank you for providing opportunities for refugees to rebuild their lives.