In 1999, a group of Congolese residents of Southern California formed an association in order to provide social relief and fraternity to all Congolese residents of the area. For a number of years, Congolese residents of Southern California rallied around the initiative to help provide funds for operations and other aids to raise awareness of the group within the community.
Our goal is to serve as a vehicle for leveraging the efforts of Congolese residing in the area towards the improvement of their general welfare and economic empowerment.
As part of these efforts, a small group formed the Congolese Community of Southern California and filed Articles of Incorporation with the State of California in October 2001 under the California Nonprofit Corporation Act.
The stated purpose of the corporation as filed was to regroup Congolese in Southern California to work toward our collective development, and to receive contributions for mutual purposes including, but without limitation therein:
1. To combat community deterioration and poverty, to relieve marginalized and derprivileged Congolese locally and in our homeland, and to offer assistance in the transition to life in the United States.
2. To enhance community progress by assisting Congolese in their spiritual development and celebration of their heritage.
3. To conduct activities that achieve educational objectives, including facilitating access to health care and providing social services and skills training.
4. To improve the economic situation of Congolese in Southern California by providing information on job assistance, career counseling, and access to entrepreneurial opportunities.
5. To support or conduct such other activities as may be desirable to promote mutual assistance and lessen the burdens between Congolese.
The formation of the entity was in anticipation of today’s current objectives and goals.
In late 2018, the Congolese residents of Southern California decided to revitalize the corporation in order to work towards the goals originally set forth.
Present and Future Plans
The Congolese Community of Southern California’s mission is to create a vehicle and network of mutual support and fraternity to drive and empower Congolese families and individuals, all residents of Southern California, to be successful in life. CCSC plans to partner and build relationships with other organizations to help Congolese find a place to be productive. Our vision is of an inclusive United States of America nation, in which all people, including Congolese immigrants, have the opportunity to reach their greatest potential, engage with their community, and fully contribute their talents – expanding prosperity and the well-being for all.
The Congolese Community of Southern California’s programs will mainly focus on the following goals:
a) Promote and Encourage Solidarity: CCSC’s mission is to promote mutual assistance among its members and facilitate agreement, collaboration, cohesion among its members, through the organization and participation in social and cultural activities. CCSC’s mission is to celebrate, share and promote Congolese cultural awareness for the enrichment of the Congolese community residing in Southern California, To accomplish this mission, the corporation plans to organize social events that will increase awareness of the Congolese people, its culture, traditions and values.
b) Provide Life Skills and Case Management Assistance Due to the language barriers and limited English proficiency, many Congolese do not have access to resources available to them. CCSC will establish a network of members who can assist with interpretation and translation services for free to help immigrants access medical, educational and social services in their own language. These volunteers will also be available to help members fill out immigration forms in order to change their statuses (e.g. from asylum to green card holder/green card) or obtain adequate legal advice. We provide on-going case management services to our members in the areas including, but not limited to: Food stamp applications, cash aid, Medicaid/ Medicare Application, coordination services to resolve legal issues, Interpretation, and Immigration and Citizenship. The corporation is meant to be a network of Congolese professionals and nonprofessionals who can volunteer their time providing case management and advice to members who seek it.
c) Provide Financial Literacy Programs CCSC will offer workshops and training for improved the financial well-being of its members. The organization will provide recommendations for the development of further materials and programs that will help newcomers establish the financial stability they need in the United States. The corporation will coach its members with all strategies designed to improve the financial capacity of families, including but not limited to understanding the banking system, budgeting, building credit and countering predatory lending practices, income taxes, asset building strategies, life insurance and retirement planning. Depending on the circumstances, CCSC may provide financial relief to its members, especially when it comes to job assistance (transportation costs), hardship (interest-free loans to members) and death (burial costs). Financial assistance will be determined at the Executive Committee’s discretion.
d) Encourage Employment and Business Ownership A lack of career readiness, disabilities, low-literacy, and other soft-skill deficiencies can be major barriers for individuals in becoming self-sufficient. CCSC is planning to create a network of professional volunteers who will conduct workshops on resume writing, job search, interview skills, etc. CCSC will also educate against barriers to the recognition of foreign academic and professional credentials and experience, which are widely recognized as an impediment to the international mobility of skilled professionals and to immigrant integration and result can be underemployment or unemployment for foreign professionals. CCSC will also partner with other organizations that are mostly focused on business ownership education such as the type of entity to create, acquiring basic accounting skills, marketing and growing businesses. Entrepreneurs who are effective members of the organization will also be able to advertise their businesses through CCSC’s membership’s network.
e) Encourage Higher Education Today, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require education and training beyond a high school diploma. It is CCSC’s mission to create a network of Congolese individuals who will mentor the youth and adults wishing to further their education in the US and provide resources to that subpopulation of Congolese. The corporation will also facilitate education workshops providing information on i) funding education; ii) qualifying for student aid; iii) selecting a college or institution for upper education. At the discretion of the Executive Committee, we may provide scholarships to deserving students who are members of the Congolese Community of Southern California and have been accepted or are currently enrolled in an advanced degree program and other criteria as determined by the Executive Committee.
Our mission is to serve as a vehicle for leveraging the efforts of Congolese residing in Southern California towards the improvement of their general welfare and economic empowerment.
Promote and encourage solidarity
Provide life skills and case management assistance
Provide financial literacy programs
Encourage employment and business ownership
Encourage higher education
To accomplish this mission, our community will need all contributions that will raise the spirit of collaboration among us in order to facilitate integration, to assist SoCal Congolese immigrant during their transition to life in Southern California as well as to promote entrepreneurship, our Congolese culture and value through educational meeting, social event, public forum within Southern California.