Where Hope Finds Home

Recognizing the Refugees of Lancaster, Pennsylvania

A Photo Document by Kristin V. Rehder & Amer Alfayadh

Welcome. We invite you to explore the photo document Where Hope Finds Home, which honors refugees from around the world who have resettled in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County. In 2015-16, over 60 Lancaster area refugees representing 19 countries agreed to be photographed and to tell their stories to photographer/writer Kristin V. Rehder and her colleague Amer Alfayadh.

The participants in this project are legal immigrants who have passed rigorous entrance requirements to come to the United States. They were forced from their homelands and encampments because of a well-documented fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

Rehder takes color portraits of her subjects looking directly into the camera. She photographs in natural light in her subjects’ living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, backyards, and other familiar environments.

Rehder’s images and texts ask certain questions: Where have these refugees come from, why, and what skills and expectations do they bring to the Lancaster community? Does encountering someone eye-to-eye through photographic portraits and biographies make us more likely to want to know these individuals and work together for the future of a community and the well-being of all of its citizens?

Initial project collaborators: Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine and Church World Service of Lancaster.

Special thanks to the refugees and families whose participation made this project possible.

Inaugural exhibit: Lancaster General Hospital/Penn Medicine, April 2016, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Meet the Refugees