As we pass the one-year mark of this life-altering pandemic, we are thrilled to begin closing the loop on our COVID-19 response. In partnership with CORE, the IRC in Atlanta is now providing Pfizer vaccines in DeKalb County through mobile units with interpretation in 20+ languages. We also recently welcomed three Community Outreach Assistants to the IRC team to increase vaccine access in the community.
As of April 26, 2021, Dr. Omar Aziz—the IRC in Atlanta’s Community Health Response Manager—and his team have provided 1,758 COVID-19 vaccine doses to DeKalb County residents! The team currently rotates between DeKalb County locations, from East Lake to Dunwoody, Doraville to Stone Mountain, and especially in Clarkston—a first home for many resettled refugees. Recent additions to the schedule have been walk-up, ‘no appointment required’ sites in busy Clarkston apartment complexes, using a similar model to our COVID-19 testing sites. Vaccines are available to all and people are automatically registered for their second dose on site. For the most current dates and locations for vaccinations, please visit our Facebook page.
In addition to providing vaccines directly to the communities we serve, the IRC is partnering with the National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants and Migrants (NRC-RIM). This project is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to help prevent and mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19 in refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) communities. This includes providing important information about the COVID-19 vaccines. Through this project, the IRC in Atlanta has welcomed three new team members onboard—Christy Nyeing, Robel Woldeab and Tila Ghalley—as Community Outreach Assistants, who will focus on disseminating accurate and culturally and linguistically appropriate information about the vaccine in their communities. All three new hires have worked with Dr. Aziz and the CORE team on COVID-19 testing, interpretation, vaccination and community outreach since this work began in May 2020. A young team, Christy, Robel and Tila will also be working closely with the IRC in Atlanta’s Communications and External Relations Manager, Fiona Freeman, to develop vaccine communication materials created specifically for refugee youth—their peers—in the community. We are thrilled to introduce you to the newest members of #TeamIRC!
21-year-old Christy Nyeing is originally from Myanmar/Burma and first came to Georgia through the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program in 2011 with her family. She speaks Burmese and English. Christy is a Clarkston High School graduate and current sophomore at Georgia State University, majoring in Public Health. In the future, Christy hopes to earn her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Global Health and her dream job is to work as a Health Educator in developing nations.
22-year-old Robel Woldeab is originally from Eritrea and first came to Georgia with his siblings in 2019 to reunite with their father, who was granted asylum in the U.S. seven years prior. He speaks Tigrinya, Amharic and English. Robel has a diploma in Nursing from Asmara College of Health Sciences in Eritrea and is currently working with the IRC in Atlanta’s Connect 2 Success program to have his transcripts evaluated so that he can begin to pursue his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)!
26-year-old Tila Ghalley is originally from Nepal and first came to Georgia through the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program in 2012 with his family. He speaks Nepali, Hindi and English. He is a Clarkston High School graduate and in December 2020, he earned his Associate Degree in Health Sciences from Georgia State University. Taking a brief break from studying for now, Tila plans to begin his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at GSU in Fall 2021.
To learn more about the work of the IRC in Atlanta and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Manager, Kalie Lasiter, at Kalie.Lasiter [at] Rescue.org or 678-636-8941.