The Capital Adult Education Regional Consortium (CAERC) recently participated in the Afghan Support Center, a free event organized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to help Afghans learn about programs and services provided by federal, state, and local government agencies, plus a variety of service providers. The event was held June 21–24 in Sacramento.
More than 2,200 Afghans—estimated to be about 35% of the recently arriving Afghan population in Sacramento—participated in the event. Attendees received information about housing, citizenship and immigration services, Social Security, school enrollment, mental health services, and employment assistance. CAERC members and staff offered information about adult education and workforce opportunities, as well as related support services.
Sacramento County has become a major destination for people escaping Afghanistan. Refugees are drawn to a large community that already offers Afghan food, groceries, and shops. “It’s gratifying to know our services are part of the collective effort to support those in need,” said Patricia Oliva, CAERC Director. “Our team was proud to be able to provide resources that can help thousands of people learn important skills and gain access to key resources.”
The event, which was held downtown at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center, featured interpreters, a child play space, and a dedicated prayer area. Transportation was provided.
The Capital Adult Education Regional Consortium (CAERC) is a network of adult schools, community colleges, and community-based organizations in the Sacramento region that connects adults with programs to help them reach their academic and career goals. CAERC assists adults in finding education resources related to workforce preparation, high school diplomas (or equivalency), reading/writing/math skills, English as a Second Language, preparation for U.S. citizenship, and more. Funding for the program comes from the California Adult Education Program (CAEP), which is a joint partnership between the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) and the California Department of Education (CDE).