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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.


IRC Turlock receives $350K grant to fight human trafficking

The International Rescue Committee received word this week that it received a $350,000 grant through the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) for its Turlock office to combat human trafficking. The investment will allow the IRC to partner with the Alliance for Community Transformation to fight human trafficking in Stanislaus, Merced, Mariposa, Mono, and Tuolumne Counties.


Register to Vote Here!

1 in 10 eligible voters are new Americans! The IRC is here to support with voter education to support naturalized citizens and eligible voters. If you are not eligible to vote, do not register to vote as it will have consequences on your immigration status. If you are not yet a U.S. citizen, contact the IRC's immigration services by calling or texting (408) 472-3675.


Meet Sarah Terlouw - Executive Director in Northern CA

It is with great pleasure that I share with you the news that IRC has welcomed Sarah Terlouw as the new executive director of the IRC Northern California offices. Sarah is not new to the IRC family. She most recently served as the country director for the IRC operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), consisting of 6 offices and a team of more than 700 staff across the country.


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.