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Immigrant & Refugee Women's Program

Listing Last Update: April 23, 2019


5021 Adkins Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63116

Primary Contact

Julie Fox

(314) 771-1104

Educational services

  • To read and write better
  • To learn English
  • To become a U.S. citizen

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Program Overview

Immigrant & Refugee Women's Program volunteers provide basic English and practical living skill education to isolated immigrant and refugee women and men in the community. Students cannot attend standard English classes due to transportation, job schedules, child care, medical or trauma issues. Volunteer teachers provide one-on-one instruction that includes speaking, reading, and writing English weekly in two 1-hour sessions. Their work is focused on achieving the student's personal goals that may include employment, citizenship, or basic communication skills. Volunteers receive complete lesson plans, books, workbooks, supplies, evaluation tools, and ongoing staff support.

In 2018, 384 students received our in-home services from 396 volunteers during 14,360 hours of teaching.

Mission Statement

Our Mission: To increase the independence and reduce the isolation of immigrant and refugee women by teaching them basic English and practical living skills in the security of their own homes.

Our Vision: Immigrants and refugees will know the power of language, the gift of friendship and the joy of independence.

Hours of operation: 9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday

Cost info: IRWP services are provided at no cost to our students.

Student and Volunteer Success Stories

"What else can you do in two hours a week that can change someone's life?" - Leslie, IRWP volunteer

"Hi Teacher...I thank God for meeting you in America. I had a fun day today. All of you have worked to make us happy. I thank you and your friends!" - Text from a student to her teacher following our Student Conversation Night.

Malak and Khaldoun are a Syrian couple in our program who came here with their three children. When they first came to St. Louis they met Diane, who immediately formed a relationship with the family. Through our program, Diane began teaching Malak English, beginning with the alphabet. Malak's husband soon had his own teacher, and so the family began to study together. Each night, they set aside an hour as a family to practice speaking English. When they first came here, Khaldoun worked as a valet, because he did not have the English skills he needed to do more skilled work. Khaldoun has a university degree, and owned a dry cleaning businesses in Syria. Now, after studying hard with his teacher and family, Khaldoun has been hired to work as a dry cleaner, and feels comfortable with his language abilities. Malak only went to school for a short while as a girl, and has cherished the opportunity to learn. The first time we met with her, her son and husband translated everything for her. Now, almost two years later, she can have basic conversations with people, and feels comfortable working at the family's falafel stand at the farmer's market on weekends. Recently she worked with her youngest daughter to write her teacher a short letter. It read: Dear Diane, I thank you because you help me to learn English. You come to my house two days in a week to teach me. I love you because you look like my mother.Your Friend,Malak

Malak and Diane have formed such a close relationship that Malak's family decided to honor Diane for mother's day last year. They showed up at her home with flowers and thanked her for everything she has done for their family. Diane was so touched by their caring, and is just as thankful to have them in her life.

"The program helped me build sentences correctly. People would say, "AMAZING! How did you learn English?" and I would tell them about IRWP. The program built my confidence to talk with people." - former student.

Program’s Demographics/Metrics

IRWP has served students from over 70 countries around the world.

Program Status: