Welcome our new Bhutanese Community Program Coordinator
The IRC Silver Spring is pleased to announce Hanako Kubori as the Bhutanese Community Program Coordinator for our Bhutanese Ethnic Community Based Organization (ECBO) program in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Hanako started with the IRC as a Reception and Placement Intern in Summer 2008 and in January of 2009 was hired as our first full-time Logistics Coordinator. Hanako’s experiences prior to joining IRC included working as a Development Consultant and Trainer with the Institute of Cultural Affairs in Kathmandu, Nepal; as a Project Coordinator for the Japan Center for Conflict resolution in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and as a Conflict Resolution Specialist with the Asian American Dispute Resolution Center in Los Angeles, California.
The Bhutanese Ethnic Community Self-Help Program provides intensive, targeted, technical assistance to the nascent Association of Bhutanese in America and Bhutanese Community Help Group ethnic community based organizations (ECBO) to improve their capacity to establish sustainable, effective local programming that supports the self-sufficiency of Bhutanese refugees, particularly vulnerable women, in Maryland, Washington D.C., and northern Virginia. The program also ensures the delivery of critical services and support to recently arrived Bhutanese women, including immediate and ongoing mentoring, acculturation and education through the ECBO and local volunteers.
The ECBO has a single mission to effectively deliver one standard of services to Bhutanese in the tri-state area. Through this program, the IRC in Silver Spring and Baltimore supports the ECBO in their efforts to organize a dispersed population of Bhutanese and create links to existing resources in the community. Further, the program supports the ECBO’s efforts to ensure new and enhanced services for newly arriving Bhutanese refugees by beginning to build structures -- such as strong community leadership and organization -- and systems for self-help, social integration and civic participation. In addition, through the ECBO and volunteers, the program provides training, mentoring and support to recently arrived Bhutanese women to ensure acquisition of literacy and English proficiency, acculturation and employment skills to impact their integration and self-sufficiency.