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Recent News & Highlights

The Journey to Citizenship

Amenah’s journey to the U.S. started six years ago when her family decided to leave Iraq. With the support of the IRC, they were resettled here in Sacramento. Reflecting on her own experience as a refugee, Amenah joined our volunteer team last year to make the transition to the United States easier for new arrivals.

In addition to earning her bachelor’s degree in biology, Amenah recently became a United States citizen! With the help of the IRC, she navigated the complicated and lengthy process of applying for citizenship. In order to be eligible, a foreign national must be in possession of a green card, otherwise known as permanent residency for five years. The IRC in Sacramento is pleased to offer free citizenship workshops and affordable consultations that help the local community through this process.

Amenah remembers becoming an American as a moment of pride and joy. She expresses her gratitude to her family and friends for supporting her dreams that felt unattainable a few years prior. “I hope this story inspires others to do their best and work hard to achieve their goals no matter how inaccessible they seem,” said Amenah “in the end, a fulfilling life will be worth all the struggle.”

Amenah plans to attend medical school to become a doctor and work for an NGO to help those who are trapped in the refugee crisis.

Small Loans to Build Big futures


We are excited to announce that since July 2018, the IRC in Sacramento has been offering small-dollar, low-interest loans to refugees. Loans offered are for the purpose of credit building, home, auto, specialized training, and education. 

Offering micro-loans creates stability in beneficiaries' lives by giving them the opportunity to be more financially established in their new home.

One of the most common hurdles for refugees in Sacramento is transportation. The first auto-loan was approved and disbursed on July 30th to a family of four from Syria. They came to Sacramento in 2017. Before receiving the loan, the family faced challenges in getting approved for funding a new car. They were eager to get a loan to ease transportation barriers and to further build their credit history so they can one day apply for a mortgage.

The micro-loan program coordinated by the IRC is an important part of the integration process because it allows new opportunities for self-sufficiency in refugees' lives. We are proud to have the capacity to offer these resources to our beneficiaries! 

Program PSA: America 101


“America 101” is our cultural orientation for new arrivals in the United States. All newly arrived refugees are required to attend. Our clients are familiarized with 14 federally mandated topics that must be covered in the first few weeks after arriving in the U.S.

Recently, four new El Salvadorian refugee women began their “America 101” with the IRC in Sacramento. In this orientation, they were walked through a wide array of topics such as immigration, law enforcement, nutrition, public transportation and 911-calling etiquette to better enable them to integrate into American society.

One of our beneficiaries at this orientation shared her initial impressions of the United States with the rest of the class: "It is really beautiful, I feel safe here and can feel free to go anywhere, I love it." This is where our refugees begin their new lives in the United States and our orientation plays a vital role.

The IRC was awarded
 
best humanitarian organization annual report!


 

Staff Spotlight: Jasmin

Jasmin started at the IRC as a Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) intern in 2016. Four months later, she became our Cultural Orientation Caseworker. Jasmin’s work involves mentoring beneficiaries in their daily lives in the United States. For instance, she familiarizes refugees with anything from grocery shopping to writing checks. Her work is essential in helping families integrate into their new home. "We play a crucial role in providing tools to help them navigate the American system and it is our responsibility to guide them," said Jasmin.
 
Yemen, located on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, is plagued by widespread violence, poverty, malnutrition and cholera, amounting to one of the world's most severe humanitarian crises. The IRC provides lifesaving assistance and emergency aid.

Learn more here.

Get Involved 

BUY Woman & Children Donations! Our women and children specific services are now supported through an Amazon wishlist! Check out the list here
ATTEND Human Trafficking Film Screening & Discussion:  Monday, January 28th 5:30-7:30p at 1900 K Street. Join the IRC in partnership with Weave for a screening of two short films - Trafficked in America & What I've Been Through Is Not Who I am
VOLUNTEER  Help Refugees & Immigrants Gain their Citizenship.  Volunteer to support our free Citizenship Workshops, held twice a month in the evenings. Email Kevin.Woldhagen@Rescue.org for more information about training and volunteering.
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