Refugees Serving as Volunteers in Abilene
Amanda Swan, an intern in the employment department at the IRC in Abilene, is developing a volunteer partnership project for refugees with the hope of increasing employability. She has contacted several nonprofit agencies in town to gather information about volunteer opportunities. Between arrival and employment, the IRC in Abilene has observed that refugees sometimes struggle with feeling unproductive and disconnected from the community. By volunteering at local agencies, they have the opportunity to interact with community members - making connections, practicing their English skills, building a sense of empowerment by contributing to those in need in Abilene, and gaining valuable experience that could increase their ability to secure jobs. So far, the IRC in Abilene has successfully placed two clients as volunteers at Habitat for Humanity. This is an organization that employers recognize, and we are excited about the mutually beneficial partnerships that will develop as a result of similar volunteer opportunities.