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Children of former refugees volunteer in Richmond

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Chris, Tenzin, and David at the IRC in Richmond.

Photo: Stephen Allen/IRC

The IRC in Richmond is happy to welcome three new volunteers onboard, all of whom bring a special personal history with them as children of former refugees who were able to resettle in the United States.

For Chris, Tenzin, and David, working with the IRC was something they felt compelled to do in the current political environment, particularly given their family backgrounds. Chris, who is a law student at the University of Richmond, grew up hearing stories from his father, who was a refugee from Cambodia. In his role as an IRC volunteer, Chris has accompanied staff members to the airport to help welcome new families when they are just arriving, which has allowed him to reflect on what that experience would have been like for his own father.

Tenzin, who is in his final year at Virginia Commonwealth University, is the child of former refugees who fled Tibet. He will be interning with the IRC this spring, working with the office’s caseworkers to help clients access resettlement services and settle into their new lives in Richmond. And David, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, grew up with parents who were former refugees from the Soviet Union. He has just moved to the area and is excited to begin working with IRC clients, helping them learn English and providing transportation to appointments and interviews.

While these three young men's stories are extraordinary, anyone can volunteer to help refugees restart their lives in the United States and show them all that Richmond has to offer. To become a volunteer with the IRC in Richmond, please visit our website and fill out the Volunteer Application, here