Here’s an online resource for refugees you might not know about: the Refugee Center Online (RCO).
Consider making your clients aware of this source of information and opportunity as part of referrals provided when they exit the initial service period or whenever they are ready for self-directed learning. There’s also a compilation of translated resources you’ll find helpful, too.
The RCO was designed specifically for refugees and newcomers to the U.S. The website complements existing in-person services for refugees by offering them access to information they need when they need it.
The site provides an overview of US systems, with a focus on six key areas:
- Daily Life
- Rights & Laws, and
Each section includes language appropriate resources (if your organization would like your materials included on the site, you can email them to the email address provided later in this post.
In addition to their main content, the RCO also offers:
An online classroom for refugees, which includes a free Citizenship Preparation Course to help newcomers prepare for the naturalization process. The RCO will also soon offer a free GED/HiSet Preparation Program to help refugees earn their high school equivalency diplomas.
RCO works to connect refugees to one another through their Refugee Voices weekly newsletter with articles written by refugees about topics they face during resettlement. RCO also offers help via phone or email for refugees who need immediate assistance or referrals.
Refugees are often unaware of the many great existing resources within their communities. The RCO is compiling a Local Resource database to help refugees find existing programs within their communities. If you would like your organization added to this database, you can enter your organization’s’ information.
If you have questions about the RCO or are interested in connecting with the RCO, email email@example.com or visit their website to learn more.
Jessica Marks is the director of the Refugee Center Online. Jessica has worked with refugees in a variety of different capacities including running after-school programs for refugee youth in Washington, DC, serving as a teacher and school counselor for displaced youth on the Thai-Burma border, and researching rural refugee resettlement in the intermountain West.
Tej Mishra served as the RCO’s board chair from 2014-2015 and has now stepped into an advisory role. Tej has a Masters in Public Health from Boston University and is an Epidemiologist for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Tej and his family were originally from Bhutan; he was resettled in 2010.