RIAC began it’s resettlement program in 2001. More than 180 refugees from different countries including Bhutan, Iraq, Burma, Somalia, Ethiopia, Central African Republic and Vietnam were resettled by RIAC in the past year alone. RIAC’s resettlement is done through it’s affiliation with Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC). ECDC is one of nine national agencies authorized by the Department of State to resettle refugees in the United States.
RIAC’s responsibility for all newly arriving refugees includes:
• Meet at the airport
• Locate housing and provide basic furnishing
• Enroll children in schools
• Enroll adults in English classes and employment programs
• Refer for health screenings
• Provide orientation
• Assist with accessing benefits
Post-Resettlement Community Services (PRCS) –
As part of our mission to foster civic engagement and skills, we provide citizenship services at the Center to refugees and immigrants. Under the PRCS program, RIAC assists clients applying for a Permanent Resident Card commonly called a “green card”.
- Completing and filing green card applications and related documents
- Providing critical information, translation and interpretation relating to the filing process
- Following up on pending cases in a timely manner
- Tracking cases and maintain records and reports for reference
– Citizenship –
As part of our continued effort to intergrate and enable newcomers to fully participate in our nation and commonwealth, RIAC provides Citizenship Classes.
- Prapare for the citizenship exam
- Prepare eligible clients for U.S. Citizenship Interview
- Assist with naturalization process and requirements
- Stress the importance of voting and general civic participaition, U.S. history and government
Social Adjustment Services
The Center provides extensive and much needed social service programs to refugee and immigrant populations in the Commonwealth.
•Individual and family counseling
•Community education and support groups
•Assistance, consultation, and referral for other social and legal service providers
•Assistance for victims of disaster and crime
•English as a second language and adult literacy classes
•Job-skills training referrals
-Gardening Thru Refugee Organization (GRO)-
Over the past few years, RIAC has been working with the Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN) through the GRO project to help Somali refugee families get involved in community gardens. The project aims to:
•Develop positive relationship between communities
•Improve mental and physical health through social interaction
•Outdoor activities, exercise and access to affordable fresh vegetables
-Program for Elderly Refugees-
Refugee & Immigrant Assistance Center (RIAC) Domestic Violence Programs>/b>
-Muslim-African Women’s Network for Safety, Advocacy & Protection (MAWNSAP)-
The MAWNSAP project offers training and education to community based victim’s services providers, law enforcement and others who work with Muslim-African women who are victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and or dating violence. The program is designed to enhance participant’s ability to better understand how religion and culture impacts the norms and values of Muslim women. Training is held throughout the year at the RIAC office in Jamaica Plain.
MAWNSAP is an acronym derived from the Arabic and Somali word mawnasap which means the right thing to do.
-Refugee Immigrant Safety Empowerment-
RIAC has an ESL Program which is supported by English for New Bostonians. Classes are free.
When: Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:00 – 8:30
Where: Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC)
100 Malcolm X Blvd.
Roxbury, MA 02119
What: Beginner level English Class
Intermediate level English Class
For more information and to register call RIAC 617-238-2435.