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News from Oakland, CA

Get the latest updates and event listings from the International Rescue Committee in Oakland, CA, and learn how you can help welcome newly arrived refugees.


Items needed for refugees in Oakland

We continue to look for in-kind donations to add items to newly resettled refugees homes. We are currently looking for pack and play cribs, pressure cookers, irons, tea kettles, and car seats to name a few!


Corporate Engagement Opportunities

The IRC in Northern California is pleased to provide our local and national partners with opportunities to engage directly with our programs in a meaningful way. Through volunteer events, small corporate groups work together to deliver their unique assistance and expertise directly to the IRC's refugee and asylee clients. All activities can be paired with an education session that teaches participants the basics of refugee resettlement.


Internship opportunities in Oakland

We will be accepting applications for summer internships beginning in February. All internships are a 6 month commitment. Interns work closely with staff to achieve organization goals. We actively recruit for internships in Access and Legal Rights, Development and Outreach, Economic Empowerment, New Roots (Garden Program), Refugee Resettlement and General Office support.


Citizenship and Immigration Services in Northern California

The IRC's Immigration Department can help any immigrant population to petition to bring family members to the U.S., apply for citizenship, green cards, work authorization, travel documents, and more. 


GenR: Bay Area Force For Change Event

It was October 16, and there were over 280 people filling into SOMArts gallery in downtown San Francisco. This was GenR’s Force for Change event, where there was an outdoor bar with a DJ, and a huge gallery space full of tables of cookies and kabobs from Afghanistan, salads from Burma, and sweets from Syria. In a black box room off to the side of the gallery, there were huge photographs, propped up on easels, of refugees girls ages 8 through 11 embodying what they want to be when they grow up. The girls, who live all around the Bay Area, were posing as doctors, lawyers, and rock stars, in culmination of an empowerment workshop called The Vision Project, which was formed in collaboration with IRC. Guests milled around, observing, eating, enjoying themselves, and then they were gathered around a stage in the main gallery.  This was where the speech was going to take place.


The Vision Project

Each year, tens of thousands of refugees fleeing violence and persecution resettle in the United States, including the Bay Area. Resettlement means a fresh start and opportunity, especially for adolescent girls whose futures had been limited by a lack of access to education and opportunities and restrictive ideas about  women. Here. these girls have the chance to improve themselves, their families, and their communities. The Vision Project aims to empower refugee girls and change perceptions within their communities by providing girls with the skills and support they need to envision a positive future, and ultimately achieve their goals. The project runs three week-long workshops each year with resettled refugee girls, and each week culminates in a personal photoshoot for each girl where they embody their future selves. 


Khalid, Halit, Kal-leed

How many people do you know with three names?  Probably none. Well, now you do…


Refugees in Oakland Take Next Steps Towards Careers

One of the IRC's first priorities when refugees arrive in Northern California is to help employable adults secure jobs that will allow them to begin covering expenses and building a new life. Some clients arrive with the professional background and necessary skills to pursue a career similar to that in their home country. To help with this, the IRC offers career development programming to clients who have already secured their survival job and are interested and ready to move forward. 


School Navigator Intern

This year, the IRC will be resettling international refugees from Eritrea, Burma, and Afghanistan. The Resettlement Services Program is the first point of contact for newly arrived refugees and offers support, guidance and counseling through all stages of resettlement. The Resettlement Team provides initial services to orient refugees to life in the U.S., including (but not limited to) securing housing, addressing to medical concerns, registering children in school, applying for Social Security and California ID cards, and linking refugees to our internal and mainstream services.


Reception & Placement Quality Assurance Intern

The Resettlement Services Program is the first point of contact for newly arrived refugees and offers support, guidance, and counseling through all stages of resettlement.