The Ethiopian Community Development Council serves the African immigrant and refugee community in the United States through a broad spectrum of programs that are conducted locally and nationally.
ECDC's programs assist newcomers and improve their quality of life by helping them become productive individuals who give back to their community. On a national level, ECDC resettles refugees from around the world through a network of community-based affiliates and serves as a voice for African newcomers.
ECDC has a network of three branch offices and 14 affiliate offices throughout the United States. These offices work with each refugee for an initial 30-day period that can be extended up to 90 days after arrival. Staff and volunteers at these offices provide basic services, including welcoming refugees at the airport; providing housing and household furniture supplies; ensuring that refugees have food and clothing; and assisting them to enroll in school, English language programs, employment services, health screenings, and other public services. The overall goal is to facilitate their transition into becoming self-sufficient members of their communities.
Through the MG program, ECDC’s affiliates provide a range of services to help clients obtain employment quickly. In addition to these direct employment services, they provide maintenance assistance in the form of a monthly cash allowance, rent and utilities payments, and funds for transportation. The primary purpose of these services is to help newcomers gain employment within 120 to 180 days of arrival in the U.S.
ECDC’s PC program seeks to expand and strengthen our affiliates’ ability to resettle refugees without family or other social connections in the U.S.; to enhance job readiness services through intensive case management; and to generate cash, volunteer, and in-kind donations that directly support agencies’ newly arriving refugee caseloads. We administer this program at a select number of our branch and affiliate offices.
ECDC’s IDA program matches the refugees’ savings to be used toward first time home purchases, college education tuition payments, vehicle purchases, or microenterprise start-up costs. While participants are saving to achieve their asset goals, the program provides them with financial literacy and asset-specific education. The financial training is intended to help refugees understand budgeting, banking, the value of saving and turning savings to an asset, and the importance of having a good credit. The ACC also collaborates with banks and other community partners to augment its program.