Idaho Office for Refugees and our programs are thrilled to welcome new members to our team! Plus - we're hiring one more instructor (part-time) for the English Language Center. Find application details here.
Viktoriia Siedikova is a new career advisor at Global Talent. Originally from Ukraine, Viktoriia started her career as an HR professional there, bringing a mix of skills and experiences to her current role. She earned a master's degree in management and economics from the Kharkiv National University of Economics. Before joining Global Talent, she served as a Community Advisor and interpreter for Agency for New Americans in Boise. Viktoriia is committed to community development and cross-cultural communication.
English Language Center welcomes new instructors Mansur Arifi and Rachel Wickstrom.
Mansur teaches two English classes at the main ELC building. His career journey spans education and humanitarian work. Born in Kabul, his academic pursuits led him to Turkey, where he delved into agricultural economics and taught English. He then served seven years with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in refugee protection in Turkey.
Rachel is teaching the Afghan women's class at the Afghan Cultural Center of Idaho. These new additions to our team come as a result of increased student enrollment and our Curriculum Coordinator, Devon Jancin, taking on new responsibilities through our partnership with Global Talent's new Employer Engagement Program grant.
Read our previous post to get to know Genny Gerke with Global Gardens!
Global Gardens, a program of the Idaho Office for Refugees, is excited to welcome Genny Gerke as Food Hub Manager.
Genny comes to Global Gardens with a passion for local food and extensive experience in environmental and outdoor education. She holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from The College of Idaho and a master's in Bioregional Planning and Community Design from the University of Idaho.
Genny is committed to community-focused, mission-driven work, and she enjoys making connections and building relationships.
As an avid runner, mountain biker, and rafter, Genny loves to explore Idaho's outdoors with her husband and dog. If she must be inside, she can be found cooking plant-based meals or curled up with a good book.
Genny feels fortunate to have volunteered for or worked with many wonderful local organizations making a difference in their community, including Roots Forest School, The Hunger Coalition, The College of Idaho, Foothills Learning Center, Wild Hearts Idaho, and the McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS), among others.
You can reach Genny at email@example.com.
ABOUT GLOBAL GARDENS
Global Gardens provides access to land, training, resources, and market connections primarly for farmers and gardeners from refugee backgrounds. We support small-business farmers on multiple farm sites, provide more than 100 community garden spaces, and operate the largest CSA program in the Treasure Valley.
There will be an information session for APA (Afghan Placement & Assistance) clients from 5 to 7 p.m. November 16 at the English Language Center in Boise.
Please find details in the flyer and images below.
The REACH Youth Program at IOR is partnering with the Boise and West Ada school districts to offer after-school activities to high school students from refugee backgrounds.
Please contact Chantale Niyonkuru, REACH Program Youth Specialist, for more information or referrals: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking to help out with the program? We need volunteer drivers to help students get to the school locations and go on field trips. If you're interested, please email Whitney Alsallum at email@example.com. Thank you!
Here are flyers to share in English, Kiswahili, Arabic, and Kinyarwanda.
The Idaho Office for Refugees is pleased to welcome Mr. Joel Ntando as our new Refugee Speakers Bureau Coordinator.
Joel, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, holds graduate qualifications in Cultural and Media Studies, French from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has professional working experience in academia and media.
As the coordinator of the Refugee Speakers Bureau, Joel will oversee the recruitment, training and development of speakers from immigrant and refugee backgrounds, with a focus on building strong relationships. He will work closely with the Idaho Office for Refugees Communications Team to plan and execute training and speaking opportunities that promote positive social change and build bridges of empathy and understanding among Idahoans from different cultures and backgrounds.
The Refugee Speakers Bureau offers trainings and paid speaking opportunities. If you or someone you know is interested in joining as a speaker or hosting a speaker at your event, please contact Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org or find a sign-up form at https://www.idahorefugees.org/refugeespeakersbureau.html.
The Afghan Cultural Center of Idaho is excited to bring the community together for a soccer match Saturday, October 28, between Toofan F.C. of Boise and United F.C. of Seattle.
The Afghan Cultural Center is a new program of the Idaho Office for Refugees, founded to promote Afghan culture, traditions, and customs, and to foster and nurture a positive relationship with the wider community. Idaho has welcomed refugees from Afghanistan for many years, and over the past two years Afghanistan has been one of the top countries of origin for folks resettling here.
Nearly 20 years later, Boise garden program continues bridging gap for Idaho refugees - Idaho Capital Sun
Moving day comes for Nampa Ukrainian Welcome Center - KTVB
Investing in refugee resettlement is investing in America’s future. I’m proof of that | Opinion by Halima Hamud - Idaho Statesman
Refugees Are An American Immigration Success Story - Forbes
In a recipe rut? Get a little exotic - Boise Weekly
One way ticket to Freedom: A former Idaho Governor and a local Afghan American worked to secure a flight for American allies out of Afghanistan - Idaho News 6
The Taste of Persia is a new Afghan restaurant in Boise opened by husband and wife Hafiz & Bahija Karim.
The family fled Afghanistan in the mid 1990s after the Taliban targeted them because of the education they received outside the country. They lived in Pakistan and Turkmenistan before resettling in Boise in 2005.
Hafiz is a skilled engineer. He currently drives Uber and taxi to provide for his family. Bahija is a skilled seamstress and owns her own custom drapery business, The Golden Needle.
The couple has four children and supports other family members, including relatives who were refugees in Ukraine when the war hit last year and were again displaced from their home.
Their oldest daughter is in medical school, their older son manages Taste of Persia, their third child is working as a pharmacy technician and earning a degree in computer science, and their youngest is in high school and teaches Taekwondo. The couple also adopted a nephew who was beaten by the Taliban and paralyzed several years ago.
The family opened Taste of Persia as a way to provide for their extended family and share their Afghan culture with other Americans, and to provide a place for fellow Afghan-Americans to enjoy a taste of home and have parties and celebrations.
Check out Taste of Persia at 10386 West Ustick Road in Boise, open 12-9 p.m. every day except Monday.
Welcoming Week is in September! Let's celebrate and continue building a culture of welcome and belonging together:
Welcoming Week is a global initiative led by Welcoming America, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that leads a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by ensuring everyone belongs.
We believe that being welcoming is much more than being friendly, tolerant, or peaceful. To be truly welcoming, a community needs intentional, inclusive policies, practices, and norms that enable all residents to live, thrive, and contribute fully.
Learn more at welcomingamerica.org.
An award-winning research team at Boise State University has been awarded $83,000 to conduct research identifying challenges faced by former refugee farmers in the Treasure Valley and mapping out potential adaptations to these challenges.
The research will be done in collaboration with the Idaho Office for Refugees and our Global Gardens program. Learn more here!
Author: Holly Beech
Idaho Office for Refugees Communications Manager
Thank you to the generous organizations who
support our outreach: