This woman-to-woman mentoring program empowers refugees to be healthy, self-reliant, financially stable, thriving members of society.
Why we care: Refugee women face seemingly insurmountable obstacles when first arriving in the United States—adjusting to a new country, culture and language.
How we're solving this: Peer mentors provide critical information to refugees on healthy behavior, personal finances, and how to most effectively advocate on their own behalf.
Woman-to-woman mentoring provides refugees with the support and guidance they need to become thriving members of their new communities. The IRC will train 12 refugee women who have successfully built new lives in Tucson, Arizona, to become leaders and mentors to 150 newly-arrived refugee women.
Refugee women arrive in the United States after years in refugee camps with little or no formal education, and very few resources. They are faced with enormous obstacles, such as learning a new language and culture, and navigating complicated education and health systems while providing for their families. Too often, refugee women lack the skills and support they need to thrive, but their peers—other refugee women who have succeeded in America—can help.
Across the course of one year, mentors will provide in-home education in the following:
- Women and children’s health
- Public safety
- Financial literacy and household budget management
- Healthy shopping with smart savings
- Systems navigation
- Self advocacy
Tucson’s refugee population represents more than 55 countries—such as Bhutan, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Pakistan—and 22 spoken languages. Peer mentors are from the same culture, have similar experiences and speak the same language, becoming friends, trusted sources of support and inspiring role models to new refugees to allow them to succeed and thrive.