When you donate to the Idaho Office for Refugees, your dollars support refugee farmers and professionals, young families, and new community members who are learning English.
On this Giving Tuesday, we invite you to learn more about our programs and consider making a donation here.
We love this compassionate community and are so grateful for your support! Here's a look at our programs that benefit from donations:
The 14th annual Idaho Conference on Refugees is back in Boise Feb. 28 to March 1, 2022, and we're accepting your ideas now for workshops.
If you work or have expertise in a subject matter that would be valuable and educational for conference attendees, we want to hear from you.
This year we are focusing our conference on speakers, workshops, and discussions about moving beyond welcoming and into belonging.
Workshops we choose will highlight new ideas to fill gaps in service, best practices to maximize our work, out-of-the-box partnerships, advocacy for refugees and immigrants, and approaches to fighting hate.
The conference has a varied attendance, so workshops in education, healthcare, youth, case management, community building, communications, advocacy, and other topics that build a stronger community and teach best practice are welcome. We are especially looking for workshops that discuss how we can better build inclusivity and equity in our work and in our community.
The deadline to apply to lead a workshop is Dec. 10. Workshops run 1 hour & 15 minutes. Learn more and find application details here.
Thank you to our event partners, Boise State University! We plan to hold the two-day conference at Boise State's Student Union Building, though that is subject to change based on potential Covid conditions in the community.
On this Veterans Day, two local features highlight the ways veterans' stories and refugees' stories intersect in meaningful ways.
Tecle Gebremichael resettled in Idaho after spending years in a refugee camp. He went on to enroll in the U.S. Army.
"I want people to understand that we’re ready to lose our lives for this country. When a refugee who has been in the United States for only a few years signs up to make that commitment, it gives me a special feeling of pride," Tecle wrote in a guest opinion published by the Idaho Statesman.
"This is a proud Veterans Day for me because my newborn son, Books, is just 16 days old," he wrote. "When I was living in a refugee camp, I didn’t know if I would survive, let alone become a father and a member of the Army in America."
This week we also heard from Ava Steven, who told a powerful story from her childhood in Iraq, when she found herself hiding for safety face to face with U.S. soldiers.
"In this moment, I just felt there is no difference between us," she remembers. "When it's time to (need) safety, we all going to look for safety."
Click here to listen to Ava's full conversation with Boise State Public Radio Morning Show host George Prentice, U.S. Air Force veteran David Manning, and Refugee Speakers Bureau Coordinator Salome Mwangi.
Join our team! The Idaho Office for Refugees is hiring two critical positions that support the work of empowering people from refugee backgrounds to rebuild and thrive in Idaho.
Consider and share the following job opportunities:
1) Project Manager at Global Talent. Lead the mission to guide refugees and immigrants on the path to reclaim their careers in Idaho.
2) Operations Coordinator. This is a new role at IOR. We are looking for someone who has passion for organizing and for moving us to the next level in project management guidance and tools.
Our partner, Agency for New Americans, is also hiring a Housing Specialist.
Click here to learn more about all three opportunities.
REFUGEES WELCOME HOME AUCTION
Agency for New Americans, a resettlement agency in Boise, is holding its annual fundraising auction this week! All proceeds will support the agencies resettlement efforts. Click here to check out the virtual auction and find great items up for bid.
MOBILE VACCINE CLINICS
We're supporting mobile vaccine clinics this Thursday and Saturday in Boise neighborhoods! The clinics are open to anyone 12 and older who needs a first or second dose. Find details below in English, Nepali, Arabic and Swahili.
REFUGEE RESTAURANT WEEK
Each year in October we highlight the amazing restaurants and markets in the Treasure Valley run by chefs and business owners who arrived here through the refugee program. Join us Oct. 18-24 in discovering new favorite dishes! Find details here.
Najlaa with The STIL in Boise (pictured on the left) will continue a favorite tradition of offering two delicious Syrian ice cream flavors throughout the week.
We're grateful to the Boise Weekly for this great Q&A with Najlaa and to The STIL in downtown Boise for their continued partnership.
The English Language Center is launching another free, six-week citizenship exam prep course on Nov. 1. The class runs every Monday, Tuesday and Friday morning through Dec. 10. Find details below in English, Swahili, Spanish and Kinyarwanda.
Our heartfelt congratulations to graduates of the previous courses who have gone on to pass your citizenship exam!
One of our favorite times of year is almost here: Refugee Restaurant Week! Celebrate with us Oct. 18-24 and discover new dishes, markets and restaurants in the Treasure Valley to enjoy all year long.
This year we're excited to again highlight Guest Chef Najlaa of The STIL. She's created a special Syrian-inspired ice cream flavor, "My Father's Favorite Breakfast," featuring halva, coffee, smoked salt and pistachios. It's available at The STIL'S Downtown and Latah locations through Sunday, Oct. 24.
We've also put together a map of local refugee-owned markets and restaurants to serve as a guide for dine-in or take-out options.
Learn more at refugeerestaurantweek.org.
We hope you enjoy getting to know new places and trying new things in the Treasure Valley. Thank you to every chef and business owner who enriches our community with your talents and flavors from around the world.
We're using a revised format this year to make sure the event is COVID-friendly. Normally, four local restaurants would house guest chefs from refugee backgrounds who would serve up dishes from their home countries. It's a great way to discover new favorites, so stay tuned next year!
Know of a place we should add to the map? Email Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many Idahoans moved by compassion by what's happening in Afghanistan have reached out seeking ways to help. We are deeply grateful!
Here are some ideas on how you can be involved in refugee resettlement in Idaho. (Those seeking resources for evacuating and relocating can find details here.)
If you would like to volunteer, be a mentor, rent out housing or provide transportation to refugees, we invite you to fill out our Volunteer Form so we know how to reach you and how you would like to be involved. Your answers will only be seen by the Idaho Office for Refugees and our partners at the three resettlement agencies in Idaho.
2. DONATE & SUPPORT
Idaho's three resettlement agencies are:
The Idaho Office for Refugees partners with these agencies and administers refugee assistance and services statewide, including English classes and cultural orientation, farming assistance, peer support and career mentorship.
Beyond donations, expressing your compassion and support for welcoming people who are fleeing violence does make a difference on social media and in your circles.
3. ATTEND AN EVENT
Make new friends and learn from other cultural perspectives at one of the many community events hosted by former refugees and/or the resettlement community. From virtual cooking classes to dance performances to evenings of storytelling, there are so many fun ways to get connected. Follow along with our Community Calendar and keep in touch by subscribing to our newsletter.
UPDATE: You can watch a recording of the webinar here.
Over the past few weeks, Idahoans have shown support and compassion for our allies and other vulnerable people, including children, from Afghanistan.
To connect our community and provide updates, Idaho’s resettlement agencies and partners will host a virtual panel detailing our state's role in this situation and giving people a chance to hear from Idahoans who have been directly impacted.
The work of artist Luma Jasim, who came to Idaho through refugee resettlement, is on display at Boise State University through Oct. 3.
Find features on Luma in the Idaho Statesman and the Boise Weekly.
Catch Luma's performance at Treefort:
Luma, born in Iraq, has lived through three wars, an economic blockade and the U.S. invasion of Iraq. She relocated to Istanbul in 2006 and to Boise two years later. She earned an art degree from Boise State University in 2013 and now displays her work internationally.
Luma's exhibit, Long Term Vision, explores the continuous scenario of refugees in places of conflict where higher powers play a role in keeping the conflict going.
Last week, Idaho Education News reporter Sami Edge spent some time with REACH program students and organizers during a field trip to the Boise Library's Collister branch and a back-to-school Q&A. Find Sami's great photos and story here.
The REACH program (Refugees Empowered to Achieve) is supported by a collaborative of local partners to provide youth mentorship and tutoring.