Thursday, May 7, 2009

Refugee Stuff: Running a refugee center furniture program --job description.

I stumbled across this the other day and found it interesting. First of all, I think it's great that someone actually came up with a written description of the position. When I was hired to do this job, I was simply tossed in with no instruction, guidance or guidelines of any kind. When I approached the supervisor for clarification, she would not provide any and at one time simultaneously told me that I should stop bothering her, threatened to fire me, demanded I work less hours and also come in on my day off all in one conversation while then giving me the phone number of a furniture donor who did not understand what I was supposed to do telling me that that person would provide me with clarification. (As stated, I enjoyed working with refugees. However, the director of the refugee center could not tell her ass from a hole in the ground.)

Apparently things are getting improved as they now produce things like this. It gives a fairly good description of the job I did, aside from a few minor quibbles. (Most notably they ignore the fact that an ideal candidate should be able to carry couches and such.) Also when I did the job there was no need for computer skills because no one was keeping any records and there was no one who was interested in seeing such records anyway, because, as stated, the manager was running around like a chicken with her head cut off, from self-inflicted crisis to self inflicted crisis.

Also of interest is the statement that the furniture director should be able to take calls about furniture. In my opinion, ideally someone else should take the calls, like the secretary for instance, and then the furniture director should follow up on them. That's because in most organizations it's the secretary's job to take calls and handle initial communications with the public and it's the furniture directors job to then process them. (As stated reportedly, the organization I worked in was a mess and poorly managed. This showed up in the use of the secretary, a topic I hope to expand on further in the future.)

From:

http://www.idealist.org/if/i/en/av/VolunteerOpportunity/167467-190


Seeking Volunteer/Intern to Manage Warehouse and Donations for Refugees

USCRI Albany has been helping refugees begin new lives in the Capital Region since 2005. Refugees arrive having fled war and persecution, and must quickly adjust to a wholly new way of life. We help refugees become self-sufficient, contributing members of our community who can again dream of a hopeful future for themselves and their children.

The Albany Field Office of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) seeks a volunteer or intern to coordinate our Welcome Home program. The Welcome Home Program Coordinator helps prepare for newly arriving refugee families by

- Receiving calls from community members who wish to donate furniture and household goods, and coordinating drop-offs or pick-ups of those goods
- Sorting the goods in our warehouse and maintaining warehouse organization
- Helping to prepare apartments for new arrivals
- Coordinating Donation Drives through schools and community groups
- Completing required paperwork and administrative duties

We are looking for someone who can volunteer 15-35 hours per week during the regular work week, and who can make a commitment of at least 3 months, and ideally 6 or more months.

This is a challenging but very rewarding unpaid position. You will have the opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of refugees, and to learn a great deal about the work of refugee resettlement.

This is an excellent opportunity for a recent college graduate or for someone looking to keep their resume current while they are in between jobs.

REQUIREMENTS

- Must speak, read, and write English fluently.
- Must be proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel and other Windows applications.
- Must have excellent organizational, time-management, follow-up, interpersonal, and administrative skills.
- Must have excellent telephone manner, research and writing skills, attention to detail.
- Must be capable of working in a fast-paced, multicultural office environment, take initiative, and be able to handle multiple assignments at once and meet deadlines.
- Commitment to the human rights and general welfare of asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants.

DESIRED, BUT NOT REQUIRED

- Strong candidates will have previous internship experience in non-governmental or inter-governmental organizations.
- Strong candidates will have a truck, and the ability to pick up donated items from houses
- Strong candidates will be fluent in a second language in addition to English. Preference will be given to speakers of: Arabic, Farsi/Dari, Burmese, Karen, Nepali, French, and Spanish.
How to Apply:
Please send a cover letter and resume to

Jen Barkan, Resource Manager, info@uscri-albany.org 518-459-1790 x292

USCRI Albany, 991 Broadway, Suite 223, Albany, NY 12202

www.RefugeesAlbany.org


The Albany Field Office of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) has been helping refugees begin new lives in the Capital Region since 2005. Refugees arrive having fled war and persecution, and must quickly adjust to a wholly new way of life. We help refugees become self-sufficient, contributing members of our community who can again dream of a hopeful future for themselves and their children.

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