Ethiopian Community Development Council
African Community Center
Program Overview and Historical Background
The African Community Center (ACC) in Las Vegas, Nevada, began operation as an Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) refugee resettlement branch office in 2003.
Our national agency, the ECDC, was established in 1983 as a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501c3 community-based organization to respond to the needs of a growing Ethiopian community, both in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and the United States. However, since its founding, the ECDC has grown to serve all refugees from every part of the world.
ECDC is a national voluntary agency, authorized by the Department of State, to resettle refugees. ECDC works locally, regionally, and nationally. ECDC’s program of public education seeks to increase awareness within the wider community and among mainstream organizations about issues of concern to the refugee and immigrant community.
Our Mission Statement
The 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. To pursue this mission, the ECDC:
- provides programs and services that assist newcomers to the country become productive members of their new American communities;
- fosters greater understanding among newcomers and the wider community;
- conducts outreach and education activities to increase public awareness about refugee and immigrant issues;
- promotes African community-based organizations increase their capacity to serve their local communities;
- promotes civic participation by newcomers in the decision-making process at the local, state, and national levels;
- provides cross-cultural training to service providers’ on the diverse cultural backgrounds of the clients they work with; and
- assists in educational development and cultural preservation projects in Ethiopia.
The ECDC African Community Center (ACC) in Las Vegas
Between 2003 and 2010, the ECDC African Community Center in Las Vegas has resettled over 1500 refugees into our Southern Nevada community. Our caseload averages over 250 refugees per year. In addition to our resettlement program, the ACC provides cultural orientation and adjustment, employment and job placement services, case management, referrals to English as a second language (ESL) training and social services, and volunteer opportunities.
Our current staff consists of a Program Director, 5 case managers, 2 case aides, an Employment Specialist, a Resource Developer, an Administrative Manager, Administrative Assistant, and a Front Desk Receptionist. We are currently looking to expand our operations with the addition of assistant case managers and assistant job developers.
Who are the Refugees?
Under the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees from 1951, a refugee is a person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to that country. The concept of a refugee was expanded by the Convention’s 1967 Protocol and by regional conventions in Africa and Latin America to include persons who had fled war or other violence in their home country.
Most refugees who come to America arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs and a suitcase or two containing all their possessions. Many have spent years in teaming refugee camps. Nearly all have suffered enormous physical and emotional traumas. Yet they all bring with them the same hopes and dreams that accompanied previous generations of newcomers seeking the freedom and opportunities so widely recognized as “America’s promise.” Welcoming newcomers to the country and helping them adjust to a new homeland is what ECDC’s Refugee Resettlement Program is all about!
How to Help!
Since 1983, the ECDC has enjoyed generous financial and material support provided by individuals, organizations, foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
If you would like to help us and our refugee families with a donation or volunteer service, please contact:
ECDC African Community Center
4310 S. Cameron Street Suite 11
Las Vegas, NV 89103
702-836-3324 x 209 /