EWI was honored to have been invited by the International Rescue Committee to participate in their 1st annual Job Fair in Silver Spring, MD. The International Rescue Committee or “IRC” provides opportunities for refugees to thrive in America. Each year, thousands of refugees are invited by the U.S. government to seek safety and freedom. Forced to flee conflict or persecution, many have survived for years against incredible odds. They step off the plane with next to nothing but their dignity, hope and determination. In Silver Spring and many other regional offices, the IRC helps them rebuild their lives.
In addition to over 103 refugees and asylees, 16 local area businesses set up tables with displays, giveaways, and plenty of job applications to fulfill their hiring needs. EWI brought a slightly different offer to the table: a chance to utilize the skills and passions they bring as individuals to start-up their very own micro-businesses.
There was initially confusion as it was explained that EWI was not looking to hire, but rather to inform about the opportunity to be a part of EWI’s “Entrepreneur Training for Success” as well as the new “Grow My Business” program. Once the reality that they too, as refugees, had the opportunity to launch and sustain micro-businesses and micro-services, their eyes lit up with joy! Many refugee women have tremendous skills, talents, and educational backgrounds but are living in isolation and poverty.
Empowered Women International is thrilled to have a hand in creating jobs, sustainable livelihoods, entrepreneurship and leadership among immigrant, refugee and other women in need by providing the business acumen, self-confidence and market opportunities needed to launch and sustain micro-businesses in the cultural industry.
Thanks to the efforts of the IRC and all who were involved, the Job Fair was a wonderful success. We are looking forward to seeing the growth of this fantastic event in the years to come!
-Empowered Women International