You can see – and feel – the despair and fear on the faces of over 4 million Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s advancing army. Sadly, this is only the latest of many refugee crises our planet has faced in recent years. From Afghanistan to Sudan, millions have been displaced as they flee war, poverty and oppression.
Organizations, including the UN, struggle to process the massive waves of people searching for safety and an opportunity to live life with dignity, leading to a greater need for integrative services in countries offering asylum. If you have been exploring the NGO career path, here are three of the best known resettlement agencies:
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
If you’ve ever spent a considerable amount of time on YouTube, you might have come across a heart-wrenching ad from the IRC. The IRC helps displaced people within countries in crisis. Provisions in crisis areas include shelter, cash assistance, food and water. Programs elevating long-term growth in-country include access to education, minority empowerment (working on policy with local governments), health programs treating preventable diseases and ensuring access to reproductive health.
In situations like Ukraine where safety is not guaranteed, many find themselves leaving their home-countries entirely. IRC offers resettlement services helping refugees in their transition to the United States, where they receive assistance in a variety of areas including medical, housing, education, legal services, employment and more.
World Relief is a Christian organization founded in 1940 to provide recovery aid after World War II. Since then, World Relief has joined President Kennedy’s “Food for Peace” committee, responded to earthquake disaster areas, and provided aid to thousands of refugees. As of 2015, World Relief has worked in over 100 countries, has partnered with 6,000 churches, and has recruited over 95,000 volunteers.
Much like the IRC, there are departments supporting refugees including immigration services, youth support, case management, education, and employment.
Refugees International is an advocacy group founded in 1979 in response to the crises in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Their main functions are to “investigate displacement crises, create policy solutions and advocate for change”. Their Refugee Advocacy Lab dedicates resources to working with US representatives on creating supportive policies for refugees among other efforts. The four main issues this organization focuses on is climate displacement, Covid-19, access to employment, and minority empowerment in over 40 countries.
If you are wondering about NGO work and want to see if this work is for you? World Relief, Refugees International and IRC all offer internships available to undergraduates and graduates. Learn more about these organizations by clicking on their websites posted below: