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News from Turlock, CA

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


Third grader spearheads donations campaign to help refugees

Olive Cicon may only be 9 years old, but the Tracy resident already has amassed a team of volunteers to assist refugees and other special immigrants as part of her "passion project"--and she's giving $5 of her own money to kick off her campaign. The following interview between Olive and her mother, Nettie Cicon, details how Olive plans to assist beneficiaries from the International Rescue Committee in Turlock/Modesto, and how others can help:  


Refugee women gain tech skills during pandemic

Modesto Junior College instructor Emma Berdino didn’t have much hope when she learned her ESL class would be forced to go online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   Many of her students, all women from Afghanistan recruited by the IRC in Turlock, were too tech-challenged to use a phone app to complete their homework prior to the viral outbreak.  

“Most weren’t able to figure it out,” she said. “I thought, oh my goodness, we’re totally going to lose this class, because they’re not going to be able to do it.” 

Berdino is grateful to be wrong, as nearly two-thirds of her students continue to take the course remotely after going exclusively online. 


Interpretation support

Interpretation support volunteers connect with clients and IRC staff via virtual platforms (i.e. phone, FaceTime, Google Hangout, Skype, Whats App, Zoom) to provide support for IRC programming.


Digital literacy support

Volunteers will help clients safely use online resources and digital devices to develop language capabilities, improve employment search skills and gain basic computing knowledge.


Donations delivery assistant

Under the supervision of the volunteer and donations coordinator, donation delivery assistants transport groceries and toiletries to the homes of refugees and special immigrants living in Central California.


IRC in Northern California Response to Covid-19

We are continuously addressing the current and potential impacts this outbreak will have on IRC programs in Northern California (Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, Turlock/Modesto). IRC is providing critical information in all relevant languages to IRC employees, volunteers, refugees, victims of trafficking, asylees, and other hard-to-reach populations. We are working hard to ensure families have access to life essentials: food, internet and devices, cash assistance and all eligible public benefits.


IRC seeks e-gift cards in response to pandemic

In light of recent events, many newcomer families in the U.S. are at-risk of losing their jobs or may have challenges finding work, leading to financial hardship. The IRC in Northern California is asking for eGift Cards to help these families with food security and other pressing needs during this trying time.


Refugee Welcome Kits Needed

Each year, hundreds of people help IRC welcome refugees to Northern California. You and your colleagues, friends or family can host a refugee welcome kit build. All items are directly given to newly arrived families who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution. Write a note of welcome and let our newest neighbors know #WeStandWithRefugees. To learn more contact [email protected]


Afghan Women in Turlock Make Great Strides

Growing up in Afghanistan, Fatima was taken out of school at a young age and never learned to write her name. After she and her family left their war-torn country to come to Turlock in 2018, she enrolled earlier this year in IRC's Afghan Path to Wellness course. Now, after finishing the course, Fatima can write her name and has obtained her learner's permit.


Citizenship Exam Preparation

Free class offered at the IRC in Turlock to help you prepare for the citizenship interview, including the history and English exams.