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Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center Inc.

 253 Roxbury Street
 Boston, MA 02119
[P] (617) 238-2430
[F] (617) 238-7143
Anab Egal
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3430294

LAST UPDATED: 02/27/2018
Organization DBA --
Former Names Somali Women and Children Association Inc, (1993)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

The Refugee and Immigrant Assistant Center's mission is to promote cultural, educational and socioeconomic development in the refugee and immigrant community.

Mission Statement

The Refugee and Immigrant Assistant Center's mission is to promote cultural, educational and socioeconomic development in the refugee and immigrant community.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2013 to June 30, 2014
Projected Income $1,132,800.00
Projected Expense $1,132,800.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Community Counseling
  • Community Education
  • Post-Resettlement Refugee Support Services
  • Refugee Resettlement
  • Refugee Social Services

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The Refugee and Immigrant Assistant Center's mission is to promote cultural, educational and socioeconomic development in the refugee and immigrant community.

Background Statement

The Refugee & Immigrant Assistance Center (RIAC), originally Somali Women and children association was established in 1993.  RIAC began as an ethnic community organization focused on working with the growing number of Somali coming to Massachusetts. In 2001, the organization changed its name to the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center (RIAC) to expand services beyond Somali community. In 2000, RIAC's  resettlement program started through the Ethiopian Community Development Council.  In addition to resettlement, RIAC started a number of other programs and services including community education, cultural events, ESOL classes, and support for victim of domestic violence and community counseling services. Over years, RIAC has established a working relationship other organizations including hospitals, Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative, states agencies and local colleges to maximize services and ensure that the needs of RIAC clients are met. In addition,  RIAC has offered training to other service providers working with African Muslim Victims of domestic violence. RIAC has also contributed to the state wide efforts to develop strategies for reducing health disparities and improving health outcome among African-born Men.

Throughout all these changes and growth over the past twenty years, RIAC has remained committed to helping newcomers develop the skills and knowledge needed to be successful  and assist in stabilizing families.

Impact Statement

1.      The opening and staffing of the RIAC Community Counseling Center was a major accomplishment. We brought together a team of mental health providers originally from countries as diverse as Iran, Somalia, Nigeria and Haiti to support refugee families who are have experienced youth. Our staff speak more than 10 languages serving a diverse client population..

2.      We have undertaken a community wide education project to help educate parents on the affect of trauma on children. We  held community education meetings to engage parents to become more familiar with interventions that might help their child

3.      We have undertaken major education outreach targeting the health of African born men. This program has become a model of how to design and execute health education programs for African immigrants

4.      In collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston Police and The Tree of Life, we organized a 7 session training for parents. The curricula has been used with other urban communities but it was first time it was used with Somali parents.

RIAC’s Top 4 Goals for Next Year:

1. Support and Service Delivery: RIAC will provide model support and direct services for its clients, either directly or through partnerships with or referrals to other service providers.

2. Strengthen PartnershipRIAC will reach out to public health, medical care, and social service organizations that provide services to new comers and create platforms to learn service needs of the population groups they serve. 

3. Conduct situational analysisRIAC will continue gathering information on and the needs of newly arriving immigrants and refugees to make its programs and services responsive to these emerging needs. 

4. Youth and family focused programming: RIAC will build and strengthen its youth focused support programs and will insure that these programs are trauma-informed.

Needs Statement

1. Developing trauma focused youth program to support youth and their families in order to help heal refugee youth.

2. Develop parenting training trauma intervention programs for parents. Many times parents who are raising children who have experienced trauma are themselves victims of trauma and have never sought help or treatment for their trauma. Thus they cannot help their children

3. Increase the capacity of RIAC staff to provide culturally competent,  comprehensive services.

4. Provide more a wraparound service to newly arriving refugee clients by linking our case management, clinical and community support programs.

CEO Statement

From Executive Director

Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center (RIAC) has remained true to its mission of promoting cultural, educational, and socioeconomic development in the refugee and immigrant community. Since its foundation in 1993 as a woman-led community based agency serving primarily Somali refugee women residing in the Greater Boston, RIAC has grown to a human service non-profit agency that provides services to refugees, asylees, and immigrants in Greater Boston, Lynn and Worcester Massachusetts.

As a director of RIAC I will take this opportunity to highlight some of the success we have had in the past one year

Refugee Resettlement program: During the 2012-2013 fiscal year, RIAC resettled 250 refugees in Worcester and Greater Boston area. The refugees were from different countries including Somalia, Vietnam, Burma, Congo and Bhutan. This was made possible by the help of our dedicated staff and donors who provided resource to facilities the resettlement

Post-resettlement Services: RIAC continued to provide case management services to individuals seeking assistance in a range of areas such as: green card and citizenship applications, translation/interpretation, benefits access, and other social support services, including referring clients to other agencies for services not provided by RIAC.

Community Education: RIAC hosted different forums and events to its clients and others from the wider community about a range of subjects such as domestic violence, African men’s health and mental health.

Social Adjustment Services: RIAC continued to conduct outreaches to Somali children/youth in local public schools and provides support and assistance to youth. It also provides training to parents who seek help learning about the United States and adjusting to life here.

Provider Training: RIAC also offered training to advocates and caseworkers from hospitals, courts, community agencies and police departments who work with African-Muslim victims of domestic-violence on how to work with new comers to Massachusetts. More than 100 individuals throughout the State have attended RIAC’s training in fiscal-year 2012-13.

Community Counseling: As of the effort to mitigate trauma among people we serve, RIAC runs a community-based mental health and social support services that meet the unique needs of refugees and immigrants. The mental health counseling services is staffed by multi-cultural and multi-lingual clinical staff with expertise in mental health as well as deep understanding of the cultural needs of RIAC’s clients

We at RIAC take pride in our past successes while building on those successes to realize a brighter future for our clients.

Miriam Gas

Executive Director-RAIC

Board Chair Statement

From the Board of Directors Desk

As we remember the struggles and success we have gone through in the past 20 year, it is our time to focus on what the future hold for us. As board of director we believe, where we are going as an organization and not forgetting the lessons learned in the past is important contribution to RIAC success


It is time again talk about strategic direction and goals we need to focus on in the next five years.  These plans are results of RIAC’s responses to its understanding of what it’s internal and external stakeholders value most about the agency and current opportunities and challenges for expanding as well as improving the quality of current services for those that benefit from the agency’s services.


This five-year strategic plan will be a time of assessing, expanding, and strengthening RIAC’s approach to its work in tandem with taking more leadership role in working with a broader array of community resources to strengthen its Community Counseling Services to meet needs Massachusetts immigrant population, to engage more volunteers to be part of service providers that are committed to provide quality post-resettlement services to Massachusetts’ new residents, and develop its human resources to meet the constantly changing needs of its clientele.


With a fresh perspective on its mission, understanding what it does well, having  first-hand information on its clients’ emerging needs, and the changing fabric of the environment in which it functions, RIAC will pursue the following strategic direction:


1.      RIAC will review and deepen its existing support and direct services over time to ensure that they are appropriately staffed, and working efficiently and effectively


2.      RIAC will take a leadership role in working with local public health, medical care and social service agencies that deliver services to refugees to identify and meet emerging needs among the population groups RIAC serves


3.      RIAC will further asses its clients and the community needs to identify support and service gaps or needed shifts in service delivery.  This assessment will serve as the basis for expanding existing services or adding new services


4.      RIAC will explore the feasibility of expanding its visibility in the geographic locations it serves and making greater use of volunteers


5.      RIAC will explore additional funding sources to increase and diversify its funding base


6.      RIAC will build its human resource capacity to ensure a fit between staff training and expertise and the skills needed for support and service delivery


Lastly we would like to extend of appreciation to our entire stakeholder and specifically our dedicated staff while not forgetting different donors who have provided the necessary resources which with then it could have been impossible to realize these successes.



 RIAC Board of Directors 

Geographic Area Served

RIAC is serving refugees and immigrants in Greater Boston, Worcester and Lynn.

Organization Categories

  1. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Urban & Community Economic Development
  2. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Community & Neighbourhood Development
  3. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C.

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Community Counseling

RIAC Community Counseling Services is a community-based mental health and social support program created to serve the unique needs of refugees and immigrants. Our multi-cultural and multi-lingual clinical staff has expertise in refugee and immigrant mental health issues as well as a deep understanding of the cultural needs of the populations we serve. We currently offer services in English, Ibo, Hausa, Swahili, Farsi, Spanish, and Somali, although we will be expanding our language capacities in the future.
Budget  $ 60018.00
Category  Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Outpatient Mental Health Treatment
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success 

 Engagement of large number of refugees, a very hard to reach and underserved population into Mental health services, increase in patient number and number of providers. Quantifiable improvement of patient outcomes.

Program Long-Term Success 

Strategic plan to translate these short-term successes into long term by expanding service and outreaching to other underserved refugee population by creating a culturally and linguistically accessible service. Creating a greater link between refugee resettlement and mental health access.

Program Success Monitored By 

Patient outcomes through assessment tools, and on-going program evaluation.

Examples of Program Success 

Addition of new languages through a new clinician, successful outcomes for patients who received services and have been able to achieve improved quality of life and expansion of the program to both new population and also increase in the hours of service because of the increased demand. 

Community Education

Community Education is offered in a variety of ways including:

ESOL Classes

RIAC has English classes for adults.  We currently offer beginner and intermediate level classes at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center.

The Muslim-African Women’s Network for Safety, Advocacy, & Protection (MAWNSAP)

MAWNSAP is an acronym derived from the Arabic and Somali word “mawnasap” which means “the right thing to do.” The MAWNSAP project offers trainings to advocates, services providers, state agencies and law enforcement providing tools and strategies for helping Muslim-African women who are caught in domestic violence situations. Training is held  throughout the year in different locations throughout the State. 

Budget  $140,280.00
Category  Community Development, General/Other Community Development, General/Other
Population Served General/Unspecified Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success 
Our goal is to have at least 10 people come to each of our 6 MAWNSAP trainings each year.
Program Long-Term Success 
RIAC offers ESOL classes 2 terms per year for beginning and low-intermediate- level English learners in the Boston community. RIAC hopes to add a third ESOL class for high-intermediate English learners.
We also offer a training for service providers to help provide more information about instances of domestic violence in the African-Muslim community, and ways to reach out to individuals in the community who are experiencing domestic violence. 
Program Success Monitored By 
RIAC staff collects information about ESOL student enrollment and retainment rate, and BEST+ scores of our students.
RIAC also collects information about who attends our MAWNSAP trainings, and collects their ratings and comments at the end of each training. 
Examples of Program Success 
RIAC provides English classes to approximately 30 students per term.
RIAC trained 90-100 people in the last year about instances of domestic violence in the African-Muslim community and ways to de-escalate such situations.

Post-Resettlement Refugee Support Services

RIAC staff prides themselves on maintaining relationships with their former refugee clients. Our clients know that after their initial resettlement period ends they can return to us for support. The Post-Resettlement Refugee Support Services vary with our clients’ needs, but can include anything from referrals to outside agencies, help with green card applications, or assistance with cultural adjustment and economic self-sufficiency. Although these services are primarily for refugees who were resettled through our organization, RIAC also helps all refugees who need assistance.

Budget  $292420.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Information & Referral
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Africa Middle East
Program Short-Term Success  We hope to make referrals, provide information, or make an appointment for in-house services for at least 90% of our former clients who come to us for help after the end of their official resettlement period
Program Long-Term Success  Through this program RIAC hopes to provide some long-term support to our former clients after their official resettlement period ends
Program Success Monitored By  Because this program is mostly informal, we do not take notes on each referral and visit.
Examples of Program Success  RIAC has excellent relationships with its former clients. Some continue to stop by the office to check in with our staff even years after their resettlement period.

Refugee Resettlement

RIAC began its resettlement program in 2001 and has since successfully resettled refugees from various countries. RIAC is affiliated with the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), one of ten VOLAGs authorized by the Department of State to resettle refugees in the United States.

Budget  $558790.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for Ethnic & Immigrant Groups
Population Served Africa Asia Middle East
Program Short-Term Success  100% of refugee individuals who are referred to RIAC from our volag will be provided with adequate housing and referred to the appropriate social services
Program Long-Term Success  Helping refugee families and individuals resettle in Eastern and Central Massachusetts
Program Success Monitored By  The success of RIAC's refugee resettlement program is monitored by the Ethiopian Community Development Council and the Massachusetts Office of Refugee Resettlement
Examples of Program Success  Successfully resettled 250 individuals in Massachusetts year of  2013

Refugee Social Services

RIAC offers general social services support the following programs: 

Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative

RIAC offers application assistance for naturalization, naturalization interview preparation help, and other support services such as interpretation and referral services. By becoming a citizen of the United States, members of the refugee community can participate fully in their community through the right to vote and the ability to participate fully in local and community politics.

Domestic Violence Prevention & Education

RIAC offers  services to Somali and other refugees & immigrants involved in domestic violence situations. Staff focuses on prevention and education techniques, but is also able to help those affected by domestic violence to find the appropriate resources for their specific situation.

Refugee Youth Services

RIAC provides refugee youth with a variety of opportunities to facilitate community and school adjustment. The objective of RIAC’s Refugee Youth projects is to foster success among refugee youth by the meeting the academic, recreational, cultural enrichment and intergenerational needs of refugee youth. RIAC staff members can help facilitate communication by serving as liaisons between parents, students, and school administrators as well as by addressing the issues that interfere with successful integration into schools.


Translation and Interpreting, TIP 

Provides translation and interpreting services for refugees in targeted communities. The objective of the project is to provide community-based translation and interpretation to assist refugees to access mainstream services in Greater Boston, Lynn and Springfield.


Refugee Community Services, RCS
RCS provides the following services:

·  Community education and orientation

·  Cultural orientation to mainstream services

·  Outreach/screening/referral services

·  Direct services to refugees

Budget  $108780.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for Ethnic & Immigrant Groups
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success  By the end of this year, RIAC staff will have helped 105 people apply for US citizenship.
Program Long-Term Success  RIAC is collaborating with the Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative in order to help 105 legal permanent residents apply for US citizenship in 2014.
Program Success Monitored By  Our citizenship staff tracks the number of applications submitted each week through our office.
Examples of Program Success  RIAC has helped 30 clients submit N-400 applications so far in 2014

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

As Executive Director I see the power of the work we do. We are providing needed support to newcomers who are building new lives. But we are also working closely with others in the health and social services sectors to ensure that they build their capacity to serve these newcomers. 


CEO/Executive Director Ms Mariam Gas
CEO Term Start Aug 1999
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Multi-lingual with expertise in creating and managing non-profit organizations.

Extensive experience working with refugee and immigrant populations

Knowledgeable in program implementation, management and supervision, as well as competent in grant writing and reporting

Expertise in refugee resettlement issues

Expertise in research with vulnerable communities and cultural minorities

Co-CEO Saida Abdi
Co-CEO Term Start Oct 2007
Co-CEO Email
Co-CEO Experience
Clinical social worker
Expert in refugee trauma and resilience 
20+ years of experience in refugee youth programming, developing school-based programs to support adjustment of refugee youth
Trained in Trauma Systems Therapy
Currently doing research focused on refugee youth, trauma, and resilience 

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 14
Number of Part Time Staff 5
Number of Volunteers 8
Number of Contract Staff 8
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 18
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 3
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 2
Gender Female: 14
Male: 13
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt
State Registration Exempt

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? N/A
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A


Board Chair Mr Mohamed Abdi
Board Chair Company Affiliation Board President
Board Chair Term July 2009 - June 2015
Board Co-Chair Mohamed Jama
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Finance Manager
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Aisha Abdisabur Cambridge Public School- Liberian Voting
Abdullahi Anshur Community Volunteer Voting
Ms Alisa Miller PH.D-Psychologies – Clinician Veterans Hospital Voting
Afifi Tabidi Tabidi CPA Voting
Sahra Warfa Community Volunteer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 7
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 1
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 5
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2013 to June 30, 2014
Projected Income $1,132,800.00
Projected Expense $1,132,800.00
Form 990s

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

Audit Documents

2013 Audit

2012 Audit

2011 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Revenue $1,399,619 $1,025,326 $934,153
Total Expenses $1,250,244 $1,041,585 $972,088

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $35,120 $76,756 $99,914
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- $948,563 $834,223
Investment Income, Net of Losses $1,361,721 $7 $16
Membership Dues $1 -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $2,777 -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Program Expense $1,096,650 $899,848 $877,631
Administration Expense $153,594 $141,737 $94,457
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.12 0.98 0.96
Program Expense/Total Expenses 88% 86% 90%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Assets $225,187 $131,852 $138,846
Current Assets $225,187 $131,852 $159,717
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $29,229 $85,269 $60,004
Total Net Assets $195,958 $46,583 $78,842

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 4.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 7.70 1.55 2.66

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's audited financials. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?