Since early March, when the global COVID-19 pandemic first reached Idaho, refugee leaders have dedicated their time and energy to keeping their communities safe in partnership with the IRC in Boise. In the process, they have worked to improve the health and safety of all who live in Idaho: from creating language accessible videos with critical information about COVID-19, to making masks for all residents of the Treasure Valley, to keeping our communities running throughout a worldwide emergency. 

Language accessible resources

Refugee leaders like Amsi, Amani, Dr. Swidan, Georgette B., Pastor Jean and more have helped deliver relatable, factual information to their communities at a time when contradictory information is being circulated. Their work, in collaboration with the IRC in Boise, helps community members receive accurate information from people they know and trust. 

In one round of videos, refugee leaders worked with the IRC in Boise, Central District Health (CDH), and IOR to create videos in four languages about contact tracing. Leaders across Arabic, Swahili, Kinyarwanda and Somali speaking groups collaborated to increase community knowledge of contact tracing and encourage members to participate in it. 

Additionally, refugee leaders have responded both to current events, such as Boise's Mask Ordinance on July 4th, and community concerns, addressed in a Q&A Zoom call in partnership with Dr. Abby Davids of Family Medicine Residency of Idaho.

Boise Mask Ordinance


Q&A with Refugee Leaders and Boise Doctor


Visit the IRC in Boise's Facebook page for resources in additional languages. 

The tools to keep refugee communities safe

A refugee from Cameroon resettled in Boise, Jonathan Amissa is no stranger to sudden challenges. When COVID-19 threatened his new community as well as his brand-new business, he called upon skills honed in his previous life to help save lives—and livelihoods.


Read more about Jonathan’s story and find out how he went from living on the streets of Cameroon to playing a key role in keeping Boise, Idaho, safe during the pandemic.

Frontline workers continue to keep their communities safe

It's no secret that refugees and immigrants have kept our country running during COVID-19. As frontline workers, refugees are doctors, grocery workers, teachers, hospital technicians, food deliverers, scientists, and more. The IRC in Boise extends an enormous THANK YOU to all who keep our communities going through challenging times. 

An extended thank you to hospital workers like Nabila Hamid and Halyna Isaieva, two environmental service (EVS) technicians and single mothers, who work on the frontlines of COVID-19 to keep their community safe. Hamid and Isaieve facilitate the sanitation of hospital rooms in Idaho after patients — COVID-19 and otherwise — are discharged. Along with their team at St. Luke's Medical Center, they work as the hospitals' first line of defense.

Read more about their work here