Germans visit Boise to study refugee resettlement

Boise is one of four cities chosen to host representatives from Germany.

BOISE -- The success of Boise's refugee resettlement program has attracted international attention.

German professionals, public officials and volunteers kicked off a two-day visit of Boise to learn about how the city welcomes and integrates refugees.

"You actually see it in action, you see how it actually turns out and how and what the impact is on the community," said Katja Kurz, coordinator for the Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange.

Germany is among the many European countries that has seen dramatic increases in refugees due to a growing international migration crisis. In 2015, Germany saw around a million refugees cross into their country.

"I think what works here and what is likely to work anywhere is creating opportunities for meaningful contact to create mutual understanding," said Jan Reeves, director of the Idaho Office of Refugees.

"Perhaps we can develop some programs similar to this program," said Dominic Heyn, a representative from Dresden, Germany.

The two-day tour is part of a recently launched exchange program that helps educate officials in various countries strategize best practices for refugee resettlement. The group stopped for lunch Friday at Kibrom's Ethiopian & Eritrean Cuisine, a refugee-owned restaurant.

"It's a good example of how a newcomer can become part of our community and become an economic asset to the community," said Reeves.

"I'm so proud of my restaurant," said owner Kibrom Milash, "We have been so busy for two months. I'm so proud actually for the Boise people, they're helping me a lot."

Germany will host U.S. representatives in the fall.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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