Please Note: This is an unpaid position. This position may be considered an internship for school credit, depending on your school policies and requirements. If this is desired, please indicate so when applying.

Background:  The mission of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933, the IRC has a presence in over 40 countries and 29 offices in the United States; the IRC leads the way from harm to home. IRC opened an office in Seattle in 1976 and provides a continuum of services including intensive case management, employment and economic empowerment services, immigration assistance, health and wellness programming, and education support to refugee and immigrant families in Washington State. IRC Washington is committed to providing trauma-informed, equitable, and accessible services and maintaining and evolving a diverse, inclusive, and supportive workplace.

Scope of work: The Swahili-Speaking Peer Support Specialist is responsible for building resilience of people forcibly displaced from their countries of origin. This position will be engaging with individuals and families from the Swahili-speaking community who are experiencing adjustment difficulties to offer encouragement, practical assistance, guidance, and emotional support. The role will include conducting client-centered needs assessments and skill-building sessions to enhance problem solving and promote positive interactions. Depending on community need, the Swahili-Speaking Peer Support Specialist may also run psychosocial support groups, provide educational workshops, and develop community activities that foster healthy connections.

Location: Hybrid. Remote flexibility but some in-person community-based meetings and activities will be required. Optional to work in-person or remote at IRC Seattle office located in 1200 S 192nd St. SeaTac, WA 98148

Time Commitment: 12-20 hours/week during IRC business hours (M-F, 9-5pm). 6-month minimum commitment. 

Major Responsibilities:

  • Promote mental health and psychosocial support within affected communities
  • Meet with individuals and families in the community to conduct needs assessments
  • Prepare an appropriate plan of action with clearly identified goals and activities
  • Under supervision, engage in evidenced based psychoeducation and skill building activities
  • Document activities through case notes and data entry
  • Collaborate with supervisor to provide crisis assessment
  • Assist with evaluation of current program services and explore ways to introduce new service opportunities
  • Attend IRC trainings and conference calls addressing mental health program development and other refugee mental health and psychosocial support related topics
  • Attend and engage in team meetings, staff meetings, and other relevant meetings and participate fully as a member of the IRC team
  • Attend trainings as requested to assist in execution of responsibilities
  • Other duties, as required

Job Requirements:

  • Relevant degree or equivalent professional and/or lived experience with social work, social service provision, psychosocial support, mental health, community engagement and support, or other relevant areas
  • Professional proficiency in English and Swahili required
  • Familiarity with issues facing refugee and immigrant communities as they relate to trauma, adjustment, and mental health
  • Ability to assess needs, prioritize and develop action plans
  • Excellent problem-solving skills combined with the proven ability to multi-task, prioritize duties and manage time effectively
  • Strong communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member in a fast-paced, cross-cultural environment
  • Demonstrated success working and communicating effectively across lines of difference with respect to race, gender, ethnicity, language, religion and age
  • Ability to follow strict guidelines of client confidentiality and safeguarding
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook) and familiarity with data-tracking systems
  • Valid driver’s license, access to reliable vehicle with current insurance
  • Commitment to anti-racism and ongoing learning

Working Environment: 

  • Standard, professional office environment (flexible remote and in-office)
  • Some in-person community-based meetings and activities will be required.

Key Working Relationships

Position Reports toMental Health Program Coordinator

Indirect Reporting:  Health and Wellness Program Manager

Other Internal and/or external contacts:

Internal:  MHPSS andother IRC Seattle program teams, Volunteer support teams

External:  Community basedservice providers and systems

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires candidates who are selected for interview to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for this position.

How to apply

  1. Please email resume and cover letter to [email protected] (indicate in subject line which position you are applying for)
  2. Volunteer Coordinator or IRC staff will follow up