|Refugee Reception & Placement
Reception & Placement Services provide war-torn families with a chance to reunite and start a new life in America. The program includes reception at the airport, placement in affordable housing, cultural orientation, referrals and general care during the initial 90-day period following a refugee's arrival. ECAC also provides financial assistance to immigrants who have been granted asylum status and to their family members with derivative asylum status. Asylees can apply for this service within 30 days from the date of asylum approval and the derivative asylees should apply to get the assistance within 30 days from the date of entry to the United States. The goal of the program is to make refugees and asylees self-sufficient and become contributing members of society.
Employment services focus on assisting refugees and immigrants to develop the skills necessary to join the workforce at large and gain economic independence. The program includes assessment, job readiness training, counseling, referrals and placement. In 1996, in collaboration with partner agencies, Refugee Electronics Assembly Training was added to the program, and most recently, a computer-training program geared toward career advancement has been implemented. Both continue to be successful.
|Electromechanical Assembly Training (EMAT)
The Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago (ECAC) in collaboration with S&C Electric Co. has organized Electromechanical Assembly Training (EMAT) for job seeking clients. The training is 10 weeks long. The first 6 weeks (3 hrs per day, 5 days per week) is at the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago facility at 1730 West Greenleaf Ave. The last four weeks (4 hrs per day) will be in the form of internship at the potential employer companies. The training prepares the participants for electrical, electronics, and/or mechanical assembler positions.
EMAT creates wide range of job opportunities, as it is of the first of its kind to integrate all the required skills to assemble electromechanical devices like transformers, switches, alternators, computers, motors, and printed circuit boards. For detail , please read the EMAT Brochure.
ECAC provides basic and vocational English language education to new refugees and immigrants. Currently, ECAC offers classes at the basic and intermediate levels; students who are more advanced are referred to Truman College or other community programs. Thus far in FY10, ECAC has served 155 in this program.
ECAC's computer training has graduated more that 62 students in A+ and Network+. The program is fully equipped and conducive for learning. The training curriculum now has changed to training basic computer skills and internet surfing particularity for new immigrants, youth and children and people from the neighborhood who have no access to internet services.
This program educates recently arrived immigrants about the American economic system, financial survival and literacy, and strategies to build personal financial wealth. The program focuses on asset building tools that promote saving and investing in long-term financial goals. Financial Planning and Education workshops are organized to cover wealth accumulation (saving), money and beliefs, goal setting, budgeting and options for saving and investing money.
ECAC recognizes through experience that in order for refugees to adjust to the economic climate of their new home, they must be actively involved in the management of their personal finances. This financial literacy program will help increase the chances and the capacity for Refugees and asyless to become self-sufficient, thereby giving them the tools to more fully participate in the economic, cultural, and civic life of mainstream America. Immigrants, like American citizens, need to achieve sustainable economic well-being by engaging in ongoing income asset building strategies. The program will teach them the basics of money management. This is an initiative to economically empower families and individuals through financial education and counseling.
|Health Outreach/ Education
All ECAC's health activities emphasize on prevention. The health programs include diabetes, breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis prevention and immunization. Diet and exercise are the educational components to preventing these communicable and non-communicable diseases. Particularly diabetes has become the major health hazard in our immigrant community. Organizing health workshops, health fares, training of peer educators and distribution of translated educational materials are the strategies to outreach the target population. Recently, education about menopause has been added to our health education program. Referral to appropriate health services, accompanying some clients and interpretation are parts and parcel of the health education program.
Community Organizing: In collaboration with the Coalition of African, Asian, European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois (CAAELII), ECAC organizes its community and advocate for affordable housing, jobs and business opportunities for its constituency.
Community Safety: ECAC offers education about safety and calling 911 to refugees & immigrants when they first arrive or any time it is needed. There are meetings every month with CAPS and clients
Other Community Services: There are numerous community services with the main purpose of strengthening the Ethiopian Community in Chicago. These services do not only help to retain Ethiopian culture, but also promote it to mainstream society. Events like community picnic, Ethiopian New Year, Ethiopian day, numerous social gatherings and sports activities are the major components of this service.
Senior and Elderly Services
ECAC's Senior & Elderly Program offers educational, recreational, and social activities for refugee and immigrant adults over age 65. Activities include language classes, citizenship education, field trips to local museums, parks and cultural institutions, health education workshops, and social gatherings.
|Citizenship & Civic Education
Immigration and Citizenship Assistance: ECAC helps refugees and immigrants become full United States citizens by preparing them for citizenship exams by providing free Citizenship classes, filling out and filing N-400 application form, and following up with USCIS.
|Children & Youth Development
ECAC works with the Loyola University Students and aims to serve all youth between the ages of 6-13 and 14 and up. The goals of the program are:
- To promote academic achievements
- To encourage youth involvement in community activities and issues
- To help them further the idea of creating positive social change
- To give them cultural education
The Program activities include homework assistance/tutoring every Monday through Thursday from 2:00-5:00pm. Fridays from 2-5pm, cultural education classes, arts and crafts and Saturday sports (soccer) from 10:00am-12:00pm.
High school students can complete their community service hours by volunteering with ECAC's Youth Development Program.
Additionally, ECAC is involved in the Multicultural Youth Project (MCYP), a program that involves the collaboration of six different ethnic agencies in the Uptown, Edgewater, and Roger's Park neighborhoods. The aim of MCYP is to bring together young individuals from various backgrounds in a safe and healthy environment. This encourages their participation in learning about and educating one another about their unique cultures and experiences. Components of MCYP include:
- A youth leadership council
- Sports leagues
- Community Service programs
- Field trips and outings
- Career development trainings
- Cultural celebrations
ECAC is also a delegate agency for Chicago’s Region 1 Youth Net Program. Through this affiliation, cultural classes are conducted on Fridays at 2:00pm-5:00pm and they include native language education, traditional dance training, and games. The Ethiopian Children’s Dance Group was created as a result of these cultural classes; and they perform three to four times a year.
For further information, please contact us:
Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago
1730 W. Greenleaf
Chicago, IL 60626
Phone (773) 508 0303
Fax (773) 508 0309