MUSCATINE, Iowa–As a teenager, Pascal Ramadhani and his family came to the Quad Cities as refugees. As they got established in the United States, Word Relief helped them settle in their new home. Ramadhani recalls, “when I came to America as a refugee, World Relief was one of the organizations that welcomed us here.”
About two years ago, Ramadhani took a job with World Relief of the Quad Cities, looking for an opportunity to help other refugees start new lives for themselves. As he put it, “I want to help people and I want to give back to the community.”
This fall, Ramadhani started taking classes at Muscatine Community College, helping him move closer to his goal of earning a college degree. Currently studying criminal justice, Ramadhani hopes to earn his associates degree next year and to continue on to further studies at a four year institution.
As World Relief of the Quad Cities looks at ways to meet the needs of even more immigrants in eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, they have started to explore offering some of their services in Muscatine. Because of his connections to Muscatine, Ramadhani looks forward to playing an important role in this process.
An organization supporting immigrants and refugees for over 30 years, World Relief of the Quad Cities provides a number of services, including helping people find suitable housing, assisting with school enrollment for children and English language learning and continuing education for adults, finding appropriate legal services to help keep immigration and refugee status papers in order, and more. As an employment specialist, Ramadhani works specifically to help immigrants and refugees find jobs that match their skills and interests, sets up job interviews, follows up with recently employed people to make sure their new jobs offers a good fit, and continuing to stay in touch with the clients they serve to make sure they reach self-sufficiency within six months.
Currently, World Relief of the Quad Cities has started the process of seeing if serving Muscatine, such as by opening a location in the city, would offer a good fit for them. Ramadhani shared that Muscatine resident Ric Smith has started working to gauge interest among local businesses and non-profits in collaborating with World Relief of the Quad Cities. Ramadhani shared that groups or business interested in supporting World Relief, either through providing volunteers, donating clothing for recently arrived immigrants or refugees, or helping people access food pantries, should reach out to World Relief and let them know how they can help. People may call World Relief at 309-764-2279 or email them.
Because of the huge positive impact World Relief of the Quad Cities has had on Ramadhani’s own life, he looks forward to the potential of sharing its work with even more people. He personally has enjoyed working for World Relief because, “you get to work with people of different backgrounds and cultures.”
He would like to see others join him in this work and to make life better for immigrants and refugees in and around Muscatine. “That’s the gift we were given as people, that we can help,” he emphasized.