As someone who has helped refugee families and widows adjust to a new life and whose own family endured the hardships that came with becoming a refugee, I commend YPFP for such a great initiative. Please join in helping the new members of our DC metro area community.  This will undoubtedly be an exciting, rewarding and life changing experience. 

Young Professionals in Foreign Policy Public Service Program (YPFP-PSP) is accepting new volunteers to join the Refugee Assistance Program, a unique project that helps newly resettled refugees from war-torn countries adapt to life in the United States. YPFP will select and train teams of volunteers who will be matched with a refugee family for six months. YPFP is implementing this program through a partnership with the International Rescue Committee, one of the world’s leading international relief agencies. []

These refugee families have recently arrived in the Washington metro area, and are struggling to adapt to the challenges of relocating to a foreign country and overcoming the harrowing experiences they left behind. Our volunteers will help them to meet their family’s basic needs such as opening a bank account, shopping for groceries, registering for English classes, navigating the Metro system, getting their children into school, and adjusting to American culture and society. Volunteers work in teams, and are expected to meet with their family at least twice per month based on their schedule and the family’s needs. There will also be group meetings of YPFP volunteers once every 4-6 weeks for film screenings, guest speakers, and social events.

YPFP is looking for highly-motivated, committed individuals to join our project. This is an intellectually and emotionally rewarding opportunity to help survivors of oppression, war, and political violence build a new life in America. All volunteers undergo special training to give them the tools to assist their refugee clients in their transition. You will be thoroughly briefed on your assigned refugees’ country of origin and the conflict there, cross-cultural communication techniques, and the fundamentals of international law and procedures on refugees and political asylum.

The third session of RAP will begin in October and requires a six-month commitment. Please send your name and preferred e-mail address  to Program Director Nathalie Marechal at [email protected] as soon as possible.  You will then be asked to fill out a short questionnaire about your background and interest in working with refugees; the form must be completed by Friday, September 26. Volunteers will be selected based on the needs of the refugees and the answers you provide on the form.