New Citizenship Program and Staff Citizens
The IRC has recently expanded its citizenship support programming with a new grant from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. The grant will fund the Citizenship and Integration program, which will offer civics-based citizenship education classes to help prospective new Americans. This is a wonderful resource for refugees, who are eligible to naturalize after five years in the U.S. The citizenship test is a formidable challenge, individuals are tested on their knowledge of the U.S. government, American history and they must be able to speak, read and write in English. The new program will help refugees accomplish those tasks and realize their dream of becoming an American.
Achieving citizenship is a great accomplishment and the IRC would like to extend congratulations to recently naturalized staff members Omar Bader, Atiq Alborz and Vital Nitibushemeye. Vital, the IRC School Liaison, lived 20 years without citizenship, first as a refugee and then as an asylee. He explained, “I appreciate the step of being an American citizen... I like to be part of the American family because I appreciate values like freedom and the way the country is managed so that people live peacefully.”
Case worker Atiq Alborz agrees. “Being a citizen means being a part of the community and I look forward to this new phase where I bring good changes. I am only a single person that has been naturalized, but I can make good change that affects the whole community.”
For further information about the Citizenship program, please contact Joanie Calder at Joanie.Calder@theIRC.org or at 602 433 2440 ext.222.