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ECDC's mission is to resettle refugees, promote cultural, educational, and socioeconomic development in the refugee and immigrant community in the United States, and conduct humanitarian and development programs in the Horn of Africa.
This program division manages the resettlement and placement of refugees from Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Near East, and Southeast Asia through a network of independent community-based organizations around the country. ECDC's participation in the Matching Grant program, a public/private partnership, provides financial incentives to refugees to become self-sufficient during their first 120 days in the United States.
Each of ECDC's branch offices offers a variety of educational, social, and support services to help newcomers acculturate and become self-sufficient in their respective locations around the country.
PROMOTE HEALTH EDUCATION
ECDC's proactive health services program combines health promotion and health education with healthcare services, focusing on community outreach, cross-cultural training, and disease prevention and control
HELP MICROBUSINESS ENTREPRENEURS
The ECDC Enterprise Development Group (ECDC EDG) provides business loans, management assistance, and training to entrepreneurs in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, focusing on minority and women-owned businesses. The ECDC EDG also serves as the Small Business Administration's Intermediary Lender for Northern Virginia.
CONDUCT PUBLIC EDUCATION OUTREACH
ECDC's public education program encompasses not only expanding public understanding of and responsiveness to African refugee and African newcomer concerns but also assisting existing and emerging African community-based organizations (CBOs). ECDC engages in advocacy and public education activities by addressing and speaking out on policy initiatives affecting the community; conducting community outreach activities; and promoting participation by members of the African community in public policy issues at the local, state, and national levels. ECDC's African Resource Network (ARN) works to help strengthen their capacity and leadership to respond more effectively to their respective community needs.
FACILITATE CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING
Promoting understanding between and among African newcomers and members of the mainstream community is an integral part of ECDC's programs. Communication facilitates the acculturation process, and interaction introduces newcomers to the diversity that is American culture and Americans to the richness of African cultures.
Our Bridges for Cross-Cultural Understanding program focuses on enhanced orientation for newcomers, publishes a bimonthly newsletter, broadcasts a weekly radio program, and hosts various events throughout the year that bring newcomers and their mainstream neighbors together.
This program collects, ships, and distributes donated books and educational materials to institutions of higher learning in Ethiopia.
ECDC established the Axumite Heritage Foundation to promote and preserve the culture and history of Northern Ethiopia. The Foundation's first project was to restore the 19th century Governor's Palace, known as the 'Inda Nebri'd, in Axum, Ethiopi
- Marta Amde
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