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by Tom Slattery
Madina with child

Local refugees become child care workers as part of innovative program

By Cynthia Flash

Rasha Ibrahim came to the United States from Iraq as a refugee in 2008. Despite earning her BA in teaching and Arabic language, she and her family faced persecution in Iraq and later in Syria. They hoped for a fresh start. But even in the United States, life wasn’t easy at first. Ibrahim didn’t speak English well, she didn’t have a community to turn to, and she was raising two children, ages 3 and 4.

Ultimately Ibrahim learned about a program run by Child Care Resources, a Seattle non-profit that helps families find quality child care and helps train child care providers. Child Care Resources trained her to become an early childhood educator so she could find a job and become a contributing member of society. Now in her fourth year at Angle Lake Child Development Center in SeaTac, Ibrahim not only teaches the young children how to eat, play and use the bathroom, but also gives them a taste of her native language and culture.

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