Definition of Good Neighbor Team (GNT):
A Good Neighbor Team (GNT) is a group of anywhere from 2 to 12 people who are passionate about showing Christ’s love to the newcomer community here in the Triad area. A GNT is partnered with an individual newcomer or newcomer family for at least six months and works to assist WRHP staff with various aspects of the resettlement process. However, a GNT’s primary role is to create loving, lasting, life-long, mutually beneficial relationships with their partnered newcomers by visiting them at least once every week. A GNT is often a pre-existing small group, community group, life group (etc.) from a local Church; however, a GNT can also be any group of people that come together out of their love for Christ for the purpose of relationally serving the nations who come to North Carolina weekly.
What are the roles associated with GNTs?
Volunteers, WRHP and refugees work as a team through shared roles and the common goal to empower refugees to reach self-sufficiency. However, each part of the team has specific roles.
GNT’s general role:
As mentioned above, a GNT’s focus is forming mutually beneficial, genuine and interdependent relationships with their partnered newcomers. Their secondary focus is assisting WRHP staff with tasks, projects and services involved in the resettlement process. Keep in mind that some of our clients are never partnered with volunteers and they still reach self-sufficiency; this is said to reiterate the GNT’s primary role of friendship and the importance of not taking on more tasks than the team can handle. GNT members are in charge of communicating issues, activities, requests, praises and questions to the GNT leader.
GNT leader’s role:
A GNT leader’s role is to act as a liaison between the WRHP volunteer coordinator/church engagement specialist and his or her GNT members. He or she provides direction, organization, support and inspiration for this rest of the group. As a liaison, he or she is in charge of choosing the communication method within the group and between the group and WRHP, following-up with group members, reporting problems to and asking questions of the volunteer coordinator/church engagement specialist and creatively solving problems or planning activities with the partnered newcomers. Additionally, the GNT leader should make sure the group is maintaining proper boundaries with the newcomers as well as turning in their volunteer logs.
The refugee is his or her biggest advocate. His or her primary role is to communicate his or her needs to both WRHP and volunteers and to comply with WRHP’s rules, which have been established with refugees’ best interests in mind.
WRHP's role is to provide resettlement services to the refugee with the assistance of volunteers. WRHP is in charge of guiding and offering advice to the volunteers. Specifically, WRHP will contact a GNT after three months for an evaluation, although WRHP will be in contact with the GNT throughout its experience.
You may have the opportunity of meeting interpreters who work for World Relief. Many of our interpreters have been through the resettlement process themselves, and so they are wonderful leaders in the community. If you need assistance with communicating something specific to the refugee you are partnered with, please contact the case specialist instead of the interpreter. For this reason, the best way to communicate is to allow community members and neighbors to interpret for you and the refugees you are partnered with.