World Refugee Day 2018: Building Bridges to Opportunity

June 19, 2018

Each of us has our own background that helps shape who we are. Our experiences allow us to bring new perspectives, offer new ways of thinking and working, and contribute in ways that others might not be able to. This World Refugee Day, we’re celebrating the contributions that refugees all over the world offer our teams and communities. Having fled their homes to build better, safer lives, they inspire us in the pursuit of their own definition of success.

Take Carlos Viloria, an equipment reliability technician and a refugee. Carlos recently participated in a LinkedIn training course at Upwardly Global, an organization that helps refugees achieve professional success. Carlos began participating in conversations on LinkedIn Groups and ended up exchanging messages with an experienced chemical engineer and professor who has offered to introduce Carlos to his connections. Together, they’re helping Carlos go after his dream.

A few miles away from Carlos’ new neighborhood, Clarisse Nsoni, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, learned about a LinkedIn training course led by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Though Clarisse had never used a computer before, she worked with volunteers who helped her build her professional presence on LinkedIn and searched for jobs that aligned with her experience and passions. Through this experience she gained more than knowledge -- she built confidence that helped her become a clinical medical aide.

With the support of their communities, Carlos, Clarisse, and many other refugees have been able to learn new skills, use new tools, and pursue their personal definitions of success. However, there are over 22 million refugees around the globe and many are seeking support from organizations and professionals like you.

This World Refugee Day, we’re inviting you to join us in supporting the refugee community however you can. Here are some ways you can contribute, and enable them to reach their definition of success:

  1. Find a volunteer opportunity in our Volunteer Marketplace that aligns with your skills and passion.

  2. Connect with your local IRC office and learn more about their work in your community -- and how you can specifically support your new neighbors.

  3. Pledge to advocate and speak up on behalf of refugees, and encourage your elected officials to support refugee-friendly policies.

You could be the neighbor who welcomes a family into their new community, or the coach who helps a jobseeker prepare for an interview. It might just take a simple response to another LinkedIn member -- without knowing the journey they’ve been on or how you could impact their future.