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Call for Applications: Rainbow Railroad Queer Refugee Internship Program (QRI)

  • Posted:Apr 08, 2024
  • Apply by:Apr 18, 2024
  • Job Type
  • Other
  • Job Level
  • Other
  • Location
  • Toronto, ON
  • Impact Area
  • Other
  • Impact Category
  • Other
  • Company Type
  • Other

About this position

Call for Applications: Rainbow Railroad Queer Refugee Internship Program (QRI)


About Rainbow Railroad

Rainbow Railroad is a global charitable organization that envisions a world where LGBTQI+ people are free to live with dignity and without fear of persecution based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics. With the support of partners across the globe, we collaborate to champion the right of LGBTQI+ people toward access to justice, peace, economic stability, and the facility to actualize their dreams. Our mission is to help at-risk LGBTQI+ people to safety and to create a sense of home and belonging in their community. Our work has become increasingly critical at a time when there are more displaced people than ever before and where the rights of LGBTQI+ people continue to be threatened by homophobic, transphobic, and queerphobic countries and cultures. Since 2006, we have rallied the support of human rights defenders, governments, donors, volunteers, agencies and organizations, and people with lived refugee expertise to assist over 13,000 LGBTQI+ individuals find safety through multiple relocation pathways and other forms of assistance. As we continue to grow, we remain steadfast in our commitment to the queer liberation movement and its transformative impact on people’s quality of life.

Rainbow Railroad is a USA 501(c)(3) organization and a registered Canadian charity with offices in New York and Toronto.


Overview of the QRI

In keeping with our strategic objective to strengthen and optimize the foundation of the organization while we queer the system and get more LGBTQI+ people to safety, Rainbow Railroad will be piloting an internship program for refugees who have benefitted from our work.

This program aims to support refugees in rebuilding their lives and integrating into their new communities by enhancing their professional capacity in the social sector. Our internship program offers a unique opportunity for refugees to gain valuable work experience, develop new skills, and access professional networks, as we facilitate their empowerment on their journey to self-sufficiency and successful integration. The QRI will be targeted to refugees who have an interest in contributing their lived and professional expertise to the global forced displacement response and elevating the voices of queer refugees in the sector. QRI is also a part of Rainbow Railroad’s commitment to a refugee-inclusive and refugee-informed engagement praxis.


Program Objectives

  • Provide practical work experience and skill development opportunities for LGBTQI+ refugees.
  • Foster a supportive and inclusive environment that values diversity and cultural exchange.
  • Equip interns with tools and resources to enhance their employability in the social sector and improve integration prospects.
  • Create a refugee-informed culture of engagement and program implementation at Rainbow Railroad.


Program Structure

  • Duration: 15 hours per week x 12 weeks [May - July 2024]
  • Internship Positions: Two available positions (one in the U.S. and one in Canada) focused on queer community mobilization and building support networks for LGBTQI+ refugees.
  • Training and Mentorship: Interns will receive orientation, training, and ongoing mentorship from an assigned member of staff to support their professional development and integration into the workplace.
  • Projects and Responsibilities: Assigned staff will outline tasks and scope of work relevant to each intern’s expertise and interest as well as the community mobilization needs of the organization allowing them to meaningfully contribute to our mission.
  • Regular Check-ins: Assigned staff will schedule 1:1 weekly meetings to provide feedback, address concerns, and ensure interns' well-being and progress.
  • Networking Opportunities: Interns will participate in virtual and/or in-person meetings, workshops, events, and other activities hosted by Rainbow Railroad and/or its partners to facilitate connections with professionals and peers within the social sector.
  • Evaluation and Feedback: Assigned staff will complete a summative evaluation of interns’ performance and interns will write a review of the organization and their internship experience within one month of completing the program.


Eligibility Criteria:

  • Asylum claimants, refugees, or permanent residents whose relocation has been facilitated by Rainbow Railroad
  • Willingness to commit to the 12-week duration of the internship program
  • Proficiency in English; additional language is an asset
  • Interest in gaining practical work experience and learning new skills
  • Respect for the organization's values and commitment to its mission


Benefits for Interns:

  • Hands-on work experience in a professional environment
  • Mentorship and guidance from experienced professionals
  • Networking opportunities and exposure to different facets of the organization
  • Certificate of completion at the end of the program
  • Potential referrals or recommendations based on performance
  • Honorarium provided


Application Process:

  1. Application Submission: Candidates can submit their résumés and cover letters expressing their interest in the internship program through our application portal no later than Thursday, April 18,2024.
  2. Interviews: Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews to assess their skills, interests, and suitability for available positions.
  3. Selection: Successful candidates will be notified of their acceptance into the internship program.
  4. Orientation: Interns will undergo an orientation session to familiarize themselves with their scope of work, the organization's culture, policies, and expectations.


Location: Candidates must reside in Toronto, Chicago, New York, or the DMV


For inquiries related to these internship opportunities, please contact community@rainbowrailroad.org

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