International Rescue Committee in San Diego: Our impact this month

IRC's Business Women in Action program provides support and inspiration to grow sustainable and profitable refugee-owned businesses

To supplement business counseling and curriculum, BWiA incorporates art therapy and activities to encourage students to explore their creativity, develop their marketing skills and better express themselves as entrepreneurs.

The IRC's Business Women in Action (BWiA) program concluded with the successful graduation of five participants. The program is catered to the diverse set of goals, skills and experience of participants. This cohort in particular was taught entirely in English and supported refugee women who have launched businesses of their own but faced barriers to growth and economic development. BWiA provides a safe space for women to connect with one another, break down barriers and develop the soft and hard skills needed to successfully run a business. IRC staff teach goal-setting, marketing skills and cover credit-building, bookkeeping and tax planning for businesses. Most participants came from the in-home childcare sector and are now working on marketing and growing their businesses with the goal of economic independence and self-sufficiency in mind. Congratulations to the graduates of IRC’s Business Women in Action!

Refugee Boys Academy explores San Diego on their journey to social and emotional wellness

The boys are back! IRC's Youth Programs took refugee youth on an exploration field trip to Cabrillo National Monument, giving the young male participants the opportunity to venture outside of their communities.

Earlier this month, IRC's Refugee Boys Academy went on a cultural immersion field trip to Cabrillo National Monument, one of San Diego's historic landmarks. This field trip among others is part of programming aimed at creating safe restorative space for boys to open up about their trauma and build social-emotional skills. At the IRC, we work to inspire refugee youth from all backgrounds to see San Diego as their new home and as a place for them to thrive, not just survive. 



Refugee communities come together to shares stories of resilience through Storytelling Training 

"I want to share my story to inspire others and let other people leaving their homes know that they can get through difficult times," said a Refugee Voices participant. San Diegans, old and new, from Honduras, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Kenya, Congo, Afghanistan and Iran learned storytelling essentials at the IRC's Refugee Voices event.
Photo: Lida Dianti

Refugee Voices, an IRC platform for former refugees to advocate, tell their story, volunteer, or take other actions in support of refugees and refugee programs in the U.S., hosted its first Storytelling Training event. Attendees learned basic storytelling tools, heard from IRC staff on how to craft their own stories and had a chance to practice sharing their stories in small groups. 



IRC clients work toward a brighter future through Solar Panel Installation Career Pathway Program

Solar Panel Installation Career Pathway Program in action: IRC participants jumpstart their new careers in the solar energy sector in partnership with Grid Alternatives.
Photo: Grid Alternatives

Congratulations are in order for four participants of the IRC's Bridge2Careers program, who completed workforce development training through our Solar Panel Installation Career Program. Thanks to our partnership with Grid Alternatives, we are able to prepare new San Diegans for careers in renewable energy. Since 2015, the IRC has focused on three sectors in the Bridge 2 Careers program: Building Trades/Solar Panel Installation, Healthcare, as well as Tourism and Hospitality. In the last 4 years, over 300 participants have grown their skillsets and moved into fields with high potential for growth and upward mobility.