Ready to Help: Zohra Cherif
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Dallas relies on volunteers to support its programs. Zohra Cherif has been among the IRC in Dallas’ volunteers since 2010. Her can-do attitude and devotion to helping Iraqi women succeed make her a familiar face around the IRC in Dallas’ office.
As an immigrant, Zohra knows first-hand the challenges refugees face when learning English and adapting to a new culture. She grew up bilingual, studying French in the morning and Arabic in the afternoon at school in Algeria. Zohra began learning English in Algeria, but says that she learned most of her English after arriving to the United States.
Zohra states that the main barrier refugees face when arriving in Dallas is language. “When you don’t speak the language, you need help with everything,” says Zohra, “I did not come here as a refugee, but I did feel their pain at the beginning, with no language.”
Zohra helps the IRC’s clients by interpreting for them in the community. She helps schedule appointments, helps families communicate with their children’s teachers and interprets at IRC orientations.
“The compassion and patience she shows while interpreting is wonderful,” says Julie Anderson, a case manager at the IRC. She gives them an extra boost of confidence to learn and become more independent.”
To learn more about volunteering with the IRC in your community, contact either VolunteerDallas@theIRC.org or VolunteerAbilene@theIRC.org