Mousa Jasim Mohamm Al Khafaji, Financial Capability Coordinator, has been with the International Rescue Committee in Denver for over 5 years, guiding clients on the road to economic self-sufficiency. His expertise lies in providing personalized financial coaching and counseling services, covering topics such as budgeting, banking, credit, loans, debt management, investing, retirement, and more—all tailored to the needs of the target population. Through financial coaching, asset building, and integrated financial products, IRC's Financial Capability Coordinators ensure that New Americans gain the financial knowledge and skills needed for informed decision-making.

The IRC in Denver's Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), in partnership with Financial Capability programming, pioneers innovative approaches to help families build credit, expand access to capital, and move out of poverty. The integration of financial coaching and small-dollar loan products forms an economic empowerment model that has proven effective in increasing household income and net worth. This approach is especially crucial as uncertain financial futures and unforeseen financial challenges compound the stress of resettlement.

One such example is an IRC in Denver client named Susan, who arrived in the United States from Ethiopia in 2019. Upon resettling to the U.S., she hit the ground running, securing two jobs, upgrading her housing, and in February of 2023, achieving a personal milestone—purchasing a car. However, not long after, she faced a setback— her car was stolen from her apartment complex, twice. The insurance company declared the car totalled. Susan states:

“I was in complete shock. If I didn’t have Mousa and the IRC in Denver when my car got stolen, I don’t know what I would have done.” 

But Susan did have Mousa's support. She reached out to her network - her inner circle - and was put in touch with him to start financial coaching. Mousa helped her refinance her car loan at a lower rate, covering additional expenses not covered by insurance, and recommended a more affordable insurance policy with a reduced deductible. Together, they collaborated directly with the car dealership to secure financing for a more reliable vehicle with improved loan terms, allowing Susan to choose a personalized payment plan. Susan says:

“I was able to choose my own payment plan. And now, I have an alarm system for my new car.”  

She then adds:

“If you don’t have an organization like the IRC in Denver, it can be very hard. You are on your own when you need to make important decisions.”

After successfully mastering this challenge, Susan now has new goals:

“Who knows? Maybe I will want to buy a house next. I might be in touch with Mousa and others in my inner circle for that decision.”  

Likewise, Zahra, a young woman who arrived in the US after a six-year journey from Afghanistan through four different countries, before settling in Denver, Colorado. Zahra, the eldest of five siblings, was determined to become independent and successful to support herself and her family, and immediately began utilizing the IRC in Denver’s services, including financial literacy classes and coaching, psychosocial support programming, ESL classes, and IRC online job readiness training. She attended many training courses alongside her younger sister and mother, allowing the family to learn and grow together as a unit. With the help of the IRC in Denver's employment team, who made the initial connection and took her to the interview, Zahra secured a job working in a food preparation company at the airport, which quickly developed into a managerial role. She received assistance from IRC’s Financial Capability Coordinators to secure a car loan, making it easier to reach her job at the airport while she prepares to apply for a dentistry program at a local university. 

Mehrdad too, upon his arrival in the U.S. in 2019, wasted no time seeking financial education at the IRC Denver and soon after applied for his inaugural credit-building loan through the IRC's Center for Economic Opportunity. Then, recognizing the importance of owning a car as he secured his first job, Merhdad realized he needed guidance on achieving this goal with the available resources. Once again, the IRC's loan program presented itself as the solution. Through consistent sessions and diligent budgeting, Merhdad successfully attained most of his financial objectives, significantly improving his overall quality of life. During the challenging times of 2020, he found support in the CEO's Resilience loan, and in the consecutive years took multiple further positive step to enhance his credit profile further. At each of these steps, Merhdad’s financial coach provided support and encouragement. Merhdad's journey exemplifies the IRC's programs' transformative power and their lasting impact on individuals' lives. Through his hard work and perseverance, Merhdad is well on his way to finding long- term success in the US. 

And Ndeye, a woman from Senegal with entrepreneurial dreams of developing her business received the necessary knowledge to consolidate her debt (making lower payments with no interest) and apply for a $5,000 loan to improve her credit. With the $5,000 loan, Ndeye was able to pay for necessary expenses and officially start her business. Ndeye has expressed gratitude for the services she has received to help her sustainably achieve her financial goals and looks forward to continuing to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams.


The International Rescue Committee in Denver is more than a provider of resettlement services for refugees. Sometimes, and as illustrated here, it serves as the inner circle for it's clients – a small group of trusted advisors when big decisions need to be made.   

Within the resettlement process, the IRC in Denver's Financial Capability Programming emerges as a vital thread, weaving stories of resilience, empowerment, and lasting success. These narratives intertwine, highlighting the instrumental role of the IRC's programs in providing individuals with the tools and support needed to overcome challenges, develop financial literacy, build financial stability, and strive for long-term success in their new lives in the United States.

Through education, coaching, and strategic financial solutions, the IRC in Denver is fostering a community of empowered individuals who can contribute meaningfully to their new societies. 

To learn more about the IRC in Denver's financial capability program or to inquire about volunteer or partnership opportunities within the program please contact Mousa Al Khafaji, Financial Capability Coordinator at the IRC in Denver at [email protected]