Spotlight on Volunteering: Resettlment Services Intern
The IRC in Atlanta is in the midst of an enormous growth spurt. Over the last month we have resettled 107 refugee clients, and we are expecting to resettle another 100 in September. This is a testament to the dedication and talent of our staff, but it would not be possible without the interns and volunteers who donate their time and expertise to the IRC in Atlanta every year. All of IRC’s interns become a part of our team to support the community and the incredible refugees who are building new lives here. They are truly an invaluable part of our organization, and with the recent increase of refuges arrivals, the IRC in Atlanta is currently seeking dedicated individuals to become Resettlement Services Interns and volunteers.
Intern Ty Popick prepares notes for his case manager. Photo: Duncan de la Feld
Interns and volunteers come from all walks of life. They are college students, professionals, and retirees, and they do everything from teaching English as a Second Language to filling out job applications to riding the MARTA bus with newly arrived refugee clients. All interns commit to three months of service, and work at least 15 hours each week. Currently, there are six volunteer opportunities and 19 internships available; however, the most versatile position is the Resettlement Services Intern. These interns work with the IRC in Atlanta’s six case managers to guide clients through their transition from a refugee to a self-sufficient individual. In Resettlement Services, interns assist clients with securing EBT cards for food stamps, setting up transportation for medical appointments, or securing housing and furniture for new arrivals. They directly assist case managers and gain valuable work experience to expand their professional networks. Volunteering or interning with IRC involves a great deal of direct client interaction and makes for a wonderful experience. For a detailed list of the responsibilities of a Resettlement Services Intern, see the internship description here.
Resettlement Services is also especially popular with college students hoping to gain experience in the social work or international relations fields because it is the first point of contact for refugee clients and will support them through all the stages of their resettlement. Lul Alamoudi, a former Resettlement Services Intern, joined the IRC in Atlanta because it was one of the programs recommended by her university to fulfill her senior graduation requirements. “My favorite part of my internship was working with refugees,” she recalls. “Being a medical anthropology student, I didn’t know a lot about refugee resettlement before coming to the IRC. Even though sometimes I didn’t understand what they were saying, I enjoyed it.”
The IRC in Atlanta is always looking for motivated interns and volunteers, especially in the Resettlement Services Department. To apply, simply attend one of the intern/volunteer orientations that are held twice a month (no reservations are required). Upcoming orientation dates are posted here. There is also an application there that you can download, fill out, and bring with you to the orientation. Prospective interns will also need to send a copy of their resume to the Volunteer Coordinator. To send a resume or learn more about the intern/volunteer opportunities at the IRC in Atlanta, please email VolunteerATL@rescue.org.