IRC: Community-Based Refugee Organizations


Danielle Rosario-Mullen
Kim Hafner

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Several community-based organizations with origins in select countries were identified as potential candidates for a small-scale pilot project that will link them with three IRC overseas country offices. Through two full semesters of data collection in 2005 and 2006, New School consultants identified, surveyed and assessed an extensive listing of refugee-run organizations. U.S.-based organizations that serve refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia and South Sudan were identified as potential candidates for a visit to the IRC country office to share cultural information, explore potential local partnerships and share best organizational and programmatic practices. The Congolese Women’s Association of New England (CWANE), Nah We Yone, the African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA), Southern Sudanese Organization (SSO), and Action for Self Reliance Association (ASERELA) are the community-based organizations (CBOs) identified as potential candidates for this pilot project. During the Fall 2006 semester, the New School consultants were responsible for conducting secondary organizational assessments of U.S.-based refugee community-based organizations, involving a site visit of each identified CBO.

New School student consultants Kim Hafner and Danielle Rosario-Mullen, conducted secondary organizational assessments of Nah We Yone, SSO, ASERELA and ACANA, serving resettled refugees from Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan and Liberia, respectively. The two main objectives of the secondary organizational assessments were: to explore what the CBO would like to gain from a home country visit as well as what they would like to contribute through such a visit; and,to explore the CBOs’ domestic services and compare them with the previous semester’s organizational assessments.