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April 8, 2014 
Dear Friend,


Spring Greetings! IRCO is growing and thriving along with the flowers this April and is excited to share our updates with you. A new Immigration Services fee-for-service program, expanded funding for our trailblazing IRCO Africa House location and our upcoming Faces of IRCO: Myanmar (Burma) event are just some of the exciting things happening at IRCO this spring.  


Read on for more IRCO news, join us for an event and follow us on our networks to stay connected to what we're up to in the community!


Newly Arrived Brothers Find Holistic Support at IRCO

"Thank you to IRCO, this is a wonderful place!" - Al-Kamel

Al-Kamel and Mohamed Fahkry came to Portland from their native Senegal this past December with their mother and sister, joining their father who has been in America for several years. Reuniting the family was a joyous occasion, however starting a new life in a new country brings many challenges. IRCO connected the family with several support services including our New American Youth Opportunity Project program that works with youth ages 16 to 21 to help them prepare for their transition to the workforce or post-secondary education, as well as our New Arrivals Employment Services (NAES) program. The brothers are acclimating well to life in America, actively interviewing for jobs to support their families, enrolled in classes at PCC and excited about the future! 
IRCO's Employee of the Year: Sam Ardestani

Samaneh (Sam) Ardestani is quite literally the face, the voice, and the first introduction to IRCO most people experience. As our main office receptionist, she deeply cares for each person who walks in the door or calls. Beyond connecting people with the critical resources they need, she always serves with grace, dignity, kindness, and a smile. She speaks Spanish, Farsi, and English fluently, and also has learned little bits of other languages  to assist clients. Although she is relatively new to IRCO, starting in August of 2012, the positive impact we have all felt has been enormous. 


Every day she is with us, is truly a gift that betters the lives of employees, clients, volunteers, and the entire IRCO community. Please join us in celebrating Samaneh Ardestani for passionately representing IRCO's mission, values and principles.

IRCO's Newest Programming 

With over 100 distinct social service programs serving nearly 30,000 immigrant, refugee and mainstream community members a year, IRCO has a lot going on! We are in constant communication with the communities we work with so we can proactively create programs to serve their needs.


IRCO is excited to have started programs providing housing and stabilization services, academic mentoring for struggling middle school students in Parkrose and Reynolds school districts, parent leadership and advocacy for families with children who are preparing for kindergarten, and food stability programs at our targeted SUN schools.  Keep an eye on for updated program info!

Upcoming Events
April 17
IRCO Africa House Open House & Volunteer Appreciation Party

June 20
World Refugee Day

June 21
IRCO Community Needs Assessment Conference  

Our 2013 Annual Report is now available to review online, check it out here!
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Outstanding Volunteer: Paul Brand

"Paul has been very consistent and reliable since day one, and has provided invaluable service touching the lives of so many clients." - Mark Oliver, IRCO staff


Learn more about volunteering at IRCO here

IRCO Develops Low-cost Immigration Services for Clients

IRCO recently implemented an Immigration Services program that provides low-cost immigration counseling and assistance for our refugee and immigrant clients. IRCO is proud to be able to now provide this vital service to our clients at affordable rates. For more information contact IRCO Africa House staff Abdiasis Mohamed at 503-802-0082.


IRCO Africa House Manager Djimet Dogo Receives "Newsmaker of the Year" Award
We are proud of our IRCO Africa House Manger and Community Leader, Djimet Dogo, for all he does for the community and winning the Skanner's "Newsmaker of the Year" award for his humanitarian efforts. Read more about Mr. Dogo's efforts and commitment to the community here.
Pacific Islander Women's Sewing Class

IRCO's FACES program has teamed up with the Pacific Islander community to bring community members together to create traditional woven and quilted blankets. "We have the skill, we just don't have the resources. IRCO has helped us get these resources and we are so, so thankful" said a program participant. Check out our Facebook page for more photos from the sewing class! 

African Immigrant Mentoring (AIM) project supports African youth in Portland 

The African Immigrant Mentoring (AIM) program is a one-on-one, community-based mentoring program that matches young African immigrants and refugees in Portland with an adult mentor from the community. Students selected for the program are those with the highest needs and who could benefit from having a positive role model. Youth receive a minimum of 12 months of mentoring and follow a service learning curriculum taught by project staff. Those who complete the curriculum have an opportunity to be a peer mentor to new youth in the program and to have leadership opportunities on IRCO's African Youth Advisory Council. Find out more about AIM and contact staff here
IRCO | | | 10301 NE Glisan St.
Portland, OR 97220
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Thank you for your interest in IRCO! Please join us for our next informational workshop, Faces of IRCO: Myanmar (Burma) April 17th at 6:00pm at IRCO. Free. Register here.