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By Andie Long, Communications & Marketing Director for Global Washington
On a recent Thursday morning, David Masomo, the co-founder of Mavuno, met with members of the Global Washington community to discuss his organization and the challenges it faces empowering local leaders with the goal of ending extreme poverty in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Having titled his presentation, “Congo: The Forgotten Heart of Africa,” Masomo said his country really is a place forgotten by the Western world. As one example, he noted that when he went to set up an iPhone recently, he was asked to select his country. Countries bordering the Congo – Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, and Tanzania, among others – are listed but the DRC is nowhere to be found, despite the fact that it’s the second largest country in Africa, and the 11th largest in the world.
In fact, being forgotten by Apple in this context is more than a little ironic, considering the DRC is by far the world’s leading producer of cobalt, a critical component in the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that smartphones and laptops depend on. It also supplies more than 50 percent of the coltan used in tech gadgets worldwide. Read More
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has been front and center in tackling the ongoing refugee crisis that has gripped the world since 2016. With an impressive array of partners, the organization is distinctive for its large scale response internationally and domestically to the world’s worst humanitarian crises.
“We work with refugees from harm to home – whether that is home in a refugee camp, home in a third country or home rebuilding their lives in Europe or in the United States,” Nicky Smith, executive director of IRC in Seattle, said.
Since its founding in 1933 at the suggestion of Albert Einstein, the IRC has been shaped by the conflicts and disasters to which it responds. At that time, it was Hitler. In 1976, it was the Indochina refugee crisis – when more than 3 million people fled newly established communist governments in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos – that prompted the IRC to open 16 U.S. regional resettlement agencies, including in Seattle.
Smith has been the head of the Seattle office for two years, but she’s been with the IRC for almost 15. According to her, the organization’s mission extends beyond refugee resettlement to health, safety, education, and economic support for communities in the midst of turmoil.
$1 million investment will train refugees in tech and in-demand sectors; supporting integration into the German labor market
New York, NY, February 7, 2018 — The International Rescue Committee (IRC) announced a major collaboration with the Intel Foundation that will provide 1,000 refugees in Germany with skills training and employment services. Titled Project CORE: Creating Opportunities for Refugee Employment, the program will equip individuals in Germany with critical skills in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and other in-demand sectors of the German economy.
“It is exciting and encouraging to see that opportunities are being extended to refugees living in the country,” said David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. “The collaboration between the IRC and Intel Foundation provides individuals with an opportunity to gain critical skills in the most in-demand sectors of the German economy, allowing them to find a job and integrate into their new communities. We are grateful to the Intel Foundation for their commitment and leadership to refugee job training and integration. The work we will do together epitomizes the power of partnerships to develop the right solutions and create meaningful impact.”