East African children born to refugee and immigrant parents face particularly unique challenges in the United States. The children are caught between communities, struggling to negotiate their cultural, linguistic, and religious identities; they are neither fully tied to long-held traditions from home, nor fully integrated into the culture of their American peers. As a result, many East African youth struggle with feelings of disconnect and social isolation.

Many East African children whose parents immigrated to the United States seeking asylum have major gaps in their education from spent fleeing persecution in their home countries, enduring long-stays in under-equipped refugee camps, and adapting to new school systems in the United States. While they require more assistance, unfortunately, East African-born parents remain ill-equipped to navigate the complex landscape of core coursework, credit requirements, and standardized testing to safeguard their children’s academic success.

EACS a Recipient of Sackpacks from the National Backpack Program!

East African Community Services (EACS) would like to extend a special Thank You to the Office Depot Foundation for a generous donation of 200 sackpacks incl. school supplies for the K-5th students enrolled in our After School and Summer Learning Programs. The Office Depot Foundation is celebrating the National Backpack Program’s 15th year of equipping children for success at school.

This year, EACS joined the following Seattle-based sackpack recipients: Emerson Elementary, Neighborhood House, Seattle Public Schools, and Solid Ground at the Office Depot Foundation’s Back-to-School Celebration on Tuesday, August 25, 2015. Fardous Guled, RN and Prenatal Subcommittee Chair for the Somali Health Board, and Ashley Sheriff, Strategic Initiatives Coordinator for EACS, attended the event as representatives to receive the sackpack donations. Our agency and educational enrichment programs continue to be strengthened by the generosity, partnerships, and support of corporate foundations.

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EACS Featured in Photographer’s Photo Give Back Project

East African Community Services participated in KPHorizon’s Photo Give Back Project, for which the photographer, Paul Hyun Park, volunteered his professional picture-taking services to selected not-for-profit organizations and featured profiles of these agencies on his website. EACS was lucky enough to catch Park’s eye on volunteermatch.org. Visit Park’s website to view our pictures from the Summer Bash!

EACS Photo Give Back Testimonial

Summer Celebration 2015!

East African Community Services held our annual Summer Bash on Thursday, August 13th. This cookout celebrated the culmination of our Summer Learning Program. More than 250 people from the community joined the party and enjoyed bouncy houses, face painting, Henna tattoos and fun outdoor games for children and parents alike. The Summer Learning Program is a six-week academic program for 65 elementary-aged students in Southeast Seattle designed to prevent summer slide with academic instruction, cultural enrichment activities, and recreation.

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Everyone is always welcome to join the festivities.

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Students eagerly line up for burgers, chips, and fruits.

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We set up three superhero themed bouncy houses for neighborhood children to enjoy.

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Our volunteers and staff grilled beef, halal, and veggie burgers.

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We had a face painting booth for children.

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Lots of girls showed off their beautiful henna designs.

We’re Hiring!

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EACS is growing. Join us in improving the well-being and quality of life of refugees and their families in King County.

  • Community Outreach Coordinator

    We are seeking a Community Outreach Coordinator to welcome, engage, and empower our community. The ideal candidate will have a positive attitude and collaborative spirit, and be a great motivator and advocate for East African youth and their families.

    Note: Candidates for this role must be Somali and English speaking.

  • Director of Education

    We are seeking an energetic, forward-thinking Director of Education to lead the growth of our youth development and education programs. The ideal candidate will have a positive attitude and collaborative spirit, and be a great motivator and advocate for East African youth and their families.

See all our job postings on Idealist at http://www.idealist.org/view/org/TSxhsc4TMtBD/.


Nordstrom emloyees care about East African Community Services

Last Friday, September 20th, 2013 East African Community Services hosted a United Way Day of Caring. Nearly twenty Nordstrom employees left the comfort of their desks, trading in their keyboards for shovels, and  desk phones for paint, in order to clean, organize, decorate, weed, and harvest at the EACS office and community garden.


The morning kicked off with pastries generously donated by Columbia City Bakery. After harnessing their sugar buzz the volunteers set off to work, one team taking on the community garden, another sizing up the supply closet.

Volunteers dig into pastries donated by Columbia City Bakery before digging into the garden.

Volunteers dig into pastries donated by Columbia City Bakery before digging into the garden.

Whether they were inside the office or outside in the garden both teams got their hands dirty to help EACS.


In the garden volunteers dug deep to remove a summer’s worth of weeds. They also pruned plants, harvested vegetables, and uncovered and re-arranged rocks painted by participants in this year’s Summer Learning Program.

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Work begins in the EACS community garden.

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The finished product, no weeds and plenty of room for fall planting!














Inside the rest of the volunteers organized EACS’s supply closet, discovering a wealth of goodies to use in our upcoming After School Program. The volunteers also channeled their creativity, decorating the EACS computer lab and setting up activity stations to make the space more welcoming and interactive for our youth program participants. Come check it out!


We would like to extend a very special thank you to everyone from Nordstrom who volunteered and to United Way for making it happen. Thank you!

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Our wonderful group of Nordstrom volunteers pose beneath their “hand” crafted rainbow in the EACS office.


Summer Learning Prog: a story through pictures


The 4th grade classroom during instruction time.


6th grade classroom during instruction time.

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Casey’s 5th grade students make stepping stones for the Student Organic Garden

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Kindergarden and 1st grade students pretend to be seeds, growing up into big, tall trees during a visit from Mountains to Sound Greenway.

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Elizia, EACS’ Education and Volunteer Coordinator, prepares the Student Organic Garden plot in the NewHolly Pea Patch.

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Students at the NewHolly wading pool during enrichment time


The Pacific Science Center, which came every Wednesday, hosted a rocketship day and students made rockets. These students are making a rocket ships with pressurized water.

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During Nutrition week, PCC Natural Foods brought their “Kid Picks Van,” where kids taste different types of healthy food and rate them. Students tasted plums, strawberries, zucchini, and other fresh fruits and veggies.

Summer Learning Program

The Summer Learning Program, in partnership with the Vietnamese Friendship Association, is already well under way, with over 70 students in attendance.  Students are in the classroom for the first part of the day, brushing up on last year’s coursework and learning some new content.  Then, they spend the second half of the day learning through play.  Students learn about planets and outer space by making their own vinegar and baking soda rockets, they learn about nutrition by taste-testing healthy food and visiting the organic garden.