The International Rescue Committee responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and more than 20 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities.
Over the past 90 years, the IRC has built a strong position as the largest refugee resettlement agency in the United States, and has paid close attention and provided service to the recent conflicts in Afghanistan (providing education and protection to 1 million Afghan citizens including women and girls) and Ukraine (collaborating with nonprofit organizations in both Ukraine and refugee-receiving Poland to provide aid).
$30 can provide trucked water for 1 family for a month.
$48 can cover the cost of school fees and supplies for 1 child.
$90 can provide medical care for 1 child with malnutrition throughout the course of treatment.
Sabah is a 15-year-old Syrian girl who was displaced, and now lives in Lebanon with her family. Sabah was already engaged to a man from her community when she started taking part in the IRC’s activities at a women’s safe space. After participating in reproductive health sessions, self-esteem and decision-making sessions, she learnt that education is one of her rights as a girl, and decided that she did not want to get married so young. The sessions helped Sabah develop her support network as well as her trust in her parents, and she gained the confidence to open up to them, telling them that she wanted to decide her own future. With her parents' support, Sabah called off the marriage in order to resume her education. After school, her dream is to mentor other refugees with the IRC in Lebanon. “There is no difference between a boy and a girl,” Sabah says. “They are the same in every aspect, and like a boy has rights, a girl has rights too. I’ve learnt that a woman should be firm and defend her rights.”
In August of 2021, Arifa, Zahra and Hadisa found themselves stranded outside Kabul airport with a group of 170 students. The Taliban had just taken control of the country and they were among the thousands hoping to evacuate—even if it meant leaving their families behind. The situation was tense and dangerous. Today, they’re enrolled at Arizona State University in the United States, their days packed with activities and studying. Zahra is studying towards a degree in Law and hopes to one day work for the U.N. Hadisa, a talented skateboarder, is studying software engineering. Hadisa’s dream is to find ways to help those still struggling in Afghanistan.“I really would like to do something for the girls of Afghanistan, especially for those who have lost their parents or don't have someone to support them,” she says. “I’m going to bring change to the next generation of Afghanistan.” Arifa is studying cybersecurity and is an active athlete, passionate about martial arts, including taekwondo. The students are all in agreement that they want to dispel stereotypes about Afghanistan. “It hurts me when people say, ‘I’m sorry that you are from that country,’” says Hadisa. “We face many challenges,” adds Arifa, “but we still try our best. We are stronger and more knowledgeable than the world thinks.”
24-year-old Nelson fled his home in the Democratic Republic of Congo after his uncle was killed for his work as a lawyer and his entire family was threatened. When Nelson arrived in Kampala, he knew that he needed to learn English and find a job. Having had some experience cutting hair in the DRC, he used what little money he had—not to buy new clothes or a cell phone—but to buy a pair of hair clippers. With his hair clippers in hand, he started going door to door asking people if they would like their hair cut. As he started to earn some money, he dreamt of opening his own hair salon in Kampala. Through the FIND program, he was paired with mentor Nabaasa Allen, owner of New Star Salon. Nabaasa shared skills that enabled Nelson to expand his barber shop into a unisex salon that serves his new community. Nelson’s favorite part of the job is seeing the joy on his clients’ faces when he shows them their new hairstyles. “It’s not only the customer that feels good, but by yourself, you feel now that you are confident.”
Zahra is an Afghan refugee, journalist and single mom. She and her two children, ages 11 and 10, fled from Afghanistan to the UK in August 2021, forcing her to abandon her dream job as a TV news anchor. In 2022, Zahra took part in the IRC’s leadership training, which helps refugees become mentors, and now advocates for women’s rights on a global scale. She has also told her story of fleeing conflict to leaders at the National Assembly. “I want the world to stay with Afghanistan and all in the world who are in danger,” Zahra says. “There shouldn’t be any difference between refugees and how people from different countries are treated. I want equality for everyone, whether they’re from Ukraine or Afghanistan or anywhere else, they should have the same rights.” Since settling into the UK, Zahra has dreamed of studying for a Master’s degree and restarting her career as a journalist. Recently this became a reality, when Zahra secured a dream job freelancing with the BBC.
Do you work for this organization?
Fundraising for an organization will help them help the world.