About

About Us

Once upon a time a mother visited her son at University never to return home.

Following the outbreak of the Somali civil war in 1991 and subsequent refugee crisis, Mariam Gas made a new home in Massachusetts. Here she utilized her language skills and cultural expertise to help new refugees navigate American systems. 

 

Mariam Gas, Executive Director
 
 
 

Our Story

1991-1993

In her free time, Mariam helped support new Somali refugees, teaching them health education, helping them access necessary resources, and slowly building a new Somali-American community in Boston, Massachusetts. 

1993

Mariam founded the Somali Women & Children’s Association, a non-profit dedicated towards helping a large influx of single Somali mother’s integrate into Massachusetts. 

1993-2001

More refugee populations began arriving in Massachusetts, such as Iraqis and other Arabic-speaking individuals. SWC expanded to help refugees from other Muslim countries with similar cultural backgrounds as Somalia. 

2001-2022

We became the Refugee & Immigrant Assistance Center, a name that encompasses the diversity of individuals we both serve and work with. RIAC became an official resettlement agency tasked with helping new arrivals from all over the world make a new home in Massachusetts.

 

2023
30 years of RIAC. 

We celebrate 30 years of RIAC. For Refugees. By Refugees.

For over 30 years, refugees and immigrants have built a new home in Massachusetts through the support and dedication of RIAC and its predecessor. Today, refugees who have long made a home in Massachusetts welcome and support new arrivals at the beginning of their journey.