Webinar Reminder!

Don’t forget to attend our webinar tomorrow! If you missed the initial announcement a few weeks ago, here is the description and registration link:

Short to Long Term Economic Integration for Refugee Employment: Using Theory of Change to Implement a Career Advancement Program

July 11, 1:00 PM EST

Supporting clients in obtaining early employment, often referred to as “survival jobs”, is no longer enough. Join Higher, META, and the IRC on July 11th at 1:00 p.m. EST in a discussion of steps you can take to develop new, evidence-based, data-driven programs that meet the longer-term employment goals of your clients:

  • Higher’s Program Manager, Nicole Redford, will discuss the importance of seizing the opportunity to evolve employment programs to address both the short-term and longer-term employment goals of new clients, as well as those who have been here awhile
  • META’s Technical Advisor, Jaime Costigan, will walk through how to use a theory of change to thoughtfully evolve your employment programs
  • IRC’s Technical Advisor for Economic Empowerment Programs, Erica Bouris, will provide an example of a career advancement program with impressive evidence-based outcomes.

To register, click here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2260690847922998018 

Peer Insight From Working With Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Because of security concerns, this post has been removed.  Apologies.  Here are three previous blog posts with other content related to Syrians.  Stay tuned for more.

Syrian Background from the Cultural Orientation Resource Center 

Friday Feature:  Ghosts of Aleppo (2014) 

Lessons from the Iraqi Refugee Experience for the Syrian Crisis 

Thanksgiving on Eastern Avenue

Thanks to Christina Caspersen and Helen DeKorne from IRC Baltimore, MD for the pictures and write-up.

On Saturday, November 16th, the Baltimore Orientation Center was busy.  Seven long tables were set up inside, each covered in brightly colored African cloth and countless drawings of turkeys.  Over a hundred people sat together at these tables to eat a meal of ham, sweet potatoes, 36 pounds of turkey, and fried noodles made in the Burmese style.

Recipes originated from Darfur, New Jersey, Nigeria, Bhutan and Pennsylvania Dutch country.  It was an early Thanksgiving celebration for all of the families and individuals who participate in the mentoring programs at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Baltimore City Community College’s Refugee Youth Project.  There are currently 73 Family, Employment and Youth mentors, volunteers from the Baltimore community who are paired with refugees arriving from all over the world to restart their lives in America.

Some of the refugee families at the dinner on Saturday were living in camps in Rwanda and Uganda less than two months ago.  Other families have been in Baltimore for a year or two already. For many, Saturday was their first taste of Thanksgiving.  There were mixed feelings about the stuffing.

Before the meal started, people shared what they were thankful for.  “Family,” “neighbors,” “friends and food” different individuals called out. “Life” shouted an excited eight year old, and the teenage girl sitting across from him nodded her head and said, “Yes, to be alive every day.”

When the room got too warm, groups of people spilled out onto the sidewalk along Eastern Avenue, adding their conversation to the sounds of traffic and Baltimore on a Saturday night. Two determined Congolese toddlers made their way through a sea of legs to find the pumpkin pie, whipped cream, and giant platter of Greek cake called halva at the end of the meal.

It feels great when I get a response to a posted request! And, I’ll join this great employment mentoring program tomorrow with my first clients (from Bhutan). Stay tuned for updates about another successful mentoring program connecting our clients to community through employment.