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Kansas Refugee Economic Empowerment Program Trains AmeriCorps VISTA members to build capacity of IRC office to provide better economic opportunities for refugees resettling in Wichita.

The IRC in Wichita is entering into the third year of a grant with the Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) to host eight AmeriCorps VISTA Members. VISTA members work specifically to expand the capacity of the resettlement office through new program development and community relations. The goals of the VISTA project are to: (1) increase the scale and reach of the IRC's adult education opportunities in Wichita; (2) increase the effectiveness of IRC’s immigration services to provide low cost immigration services to not only refugees resettling in Wichita and southwest Kansas, but also for economically disadvantaged citizens living in Kansas; and (3) leverage volunteer and in-kind resources to support employability, housing and client self-sufficiency.

The office currently has VISTAs serving in both Wichita and in Garden City in the following roles: Volunteer Coordination VISTA and In-Kind Donation Coordination VISTA. In Wichita the Adult Education Coordination VISTA works with recruiting volunteers to administer the IRC’s English classes. In 2017, two new roles were added this year to expand upon the immigration services provided by the IRC throughout southcentral and southwestern Kansas. In 2018, the IRC will add an additional VISTA position to coordinate Special Events and Do It Yourself (DIY) events to support refugee resettlement.

AmeriCorps VISTA members commit to serving full time for one year. VISTAs are compensated with a living stipend and are provided with an Education Award upon successful completion of their year of service. The IRC recruits VISTAs year round for open positions. For more information or to apply for open VISTA positions please visit our website at Rescue.org/Wichita.