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January 2018 News & Highlights 

Landing the Dream Job

Nesar moved to the United States from Afghanistan in October of 2016. After ten years of working with the U.S. Government there, he’d come to fear for his safety and the safety of his family if they stayed at home. They made the difficult decision to uproot and start a new life. It wasn’t easy, but now—a little over a year later, and with help from IRC’s programs—he has landed his dream job working in his field of expertise.

Nesar, who was a procurement specialist in Afghanistan, began his first job in January 2017 as a security guard. He moved on to do seasonal work for Blue Diamond and then took a customer service position before being offered his current job as Procurement and Facilities Coordinator at a non-profit. Transitioning from seasonal, temporary work to a nine-to-five position, he has been able to do things like drive his kids to school, make plans with a consistent schedule, and know what his work hours will look like each week.

Nesar decided to enroll in the IRC's Career Pathways program and the Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) program to help him transition out of his temporary jobs and find something permanent. Through the Career Pathways program with the IRC in Sacramento, he was able to practice interviews, receive coaching on online applications, and get guidance on the other quirks and variations in applying to a range of positions. Now, his advice for newly arriving refugees is not to be discouraged by the first job they get. He says it’s important to start out in an entry level position and work on building relationships and networking until you are able to move up into the kind of work you ultimately want to do.

As for his new job, Nesar loves the team focused environment and is thrilled to be doing the work that he knows again. Congratulations Nesar, we are so happy to hear about your success!

Women's Driving Classes

Recently a group of Dari-speaking women gathered for a special seminar on how to begin the process of obtaining a driver's permit - and eventually a driver's license.  

The workshop, which was put on by Bond Driving School, was well-attended. Learning to drive is a popular topic among our women clients, and this was a training that many of them had requested. In America having the ability to drive is both a symbolic and practical source of independence. It means being able to pick up your kids from school, go grocery shopping without having to carry all your bags home on the bus, and go across town for tea with friends. It makes life more connected for our clients who otherwise may have a difficult time getting around with ease. 

But of course a trip to the DMV is not for the faint of heart, so this workshop was an invaluable tool for preparing the group for what they need to bring, do, and know before they make an appointment for that coveted permit. Bond Driving School's owner Mr. Henning, who believes in paying it forward to the community with outreach like this class, gave the ladies all the know-how they needed to press ahead toward getting their licenses. 

Next stop - the open road!

Film Screening with WEAVE

This month the IRC in Sacramento partnered with WEAVE, Inc. to host a screening of Sands of Silence: Waves of Courage. The movie is an exploration of sexual violence and trafficking, and follows the filmmaker's fifteen-year quest to expose the underworld of sexual exploitation, in keeping with January being Human Trafficking Awareness month. After the film, the audience got the chance to engage filmmaker Chelo Alvarez-Stehle (pictured above) and ask questions about her film and experiences.

Thursday, February 8th we'll be hosting a screening of the film 8 Borders, 8 Days. The documentary follows a Syrian refugee family's journey to find safety. RSVP today!

The IRC in Sacramento places clients in housing across EIGHT different zipcodes in the Sacramento area. 

Staff Spotlight: Rodger

Rodger is our Anti-Trafficking Outreach and Training Specialist. He offers training seminars to groups of law enforcement, medical professionals and others to help them recognize the signs of human trafficking. Rodger believes that in the fight against trafficking, forced labor can sometimes be overlooked, and he hopes to raise awareness of that particular side of the crisis.
The International Rescue Committee has released new data regarding the effect of the Trump Administration policies on refugee resettlement - and the results are drastic. Comparing numbers from October 2016-January 2017 versus October 2017-January 2018 we learned that: Muslim refugees entering the country dropped by 94%. Refugees from Iraq dropped 98%. And safe resettlement of Syrian refugees dropped by nearly 100%. Learn more about the stats and what you can do to help below. 
Learn more at

Get Involved with IRC Sac This Month

(BUY) Kitchenware! Help refugees make their new house a home by donating pots, pans and flatware. You can drop off on Mondays and Tuesdays 2-4PM at 2020 Hurley Way, Suite 420 in Sacramento. 
(ATTEND) Save the Date: Thursday, Feb 8th!  We will be hosting a FREE screening of the film 8 Borders, 8 Days. The documentary follows a Syrian refugee family and their harrowing journey to safety. Visit our website for more info and to RSVP.
(VOLUNTEER)  Help refugees learn English by becoming a trained Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) volunteer.  Email for more information.

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International Rescue Committee · 2020 Hurley Way, Ste 420 · Sacramento, CA 95825 · USA

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