Iskashitaa Refugee Network empowers refugees by creating opportunities to better integrate them with the larger Tucson community while gaining skills that serve them in America. Iskashitaa is the Somali and Maay Maay word for “working cooperatively together.”  

Iskashitaa Refugee Network (IRN) is an inter-generational network of Tucson volunteers and UN refugees from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, who locate, harvest, and re-distribute locally grown fruits and vegetables which would otherwise go to waste.

IRN's goal is to empower recently arrived refugees by connecting them with a wide variety of resources and opportunities to interact with the community. Through gleaning activities, refugees are introduced to local farms, hydroponic and aquaponics operations, farmer’s markets and other community festivities as well as backyard and community gardens.

IRN teaches community members about sustainable food systems and fruit tree identification, harvesting techniques and seeks to increase food security and improve self-sufficiency among refugee households and other families in need. Refugees from ~30 ethnic groups learn the geography of Tucson, gain valuable life skills, improve their English, develop a US work history and access to healthy foods and food preservation techniques.

We are starting our end of the year fundraising campaign with #GivingTuesday and will keep working on the campaign until December 31st.

Our UA -Tree Fellows, Emily, Rob and Felicity are organizing a Tree Compost Workshop at U of A on Sat Nov 19th, 10am-1pm. Participants will learn how to use compost while improving the health and productivity of pomegranate trees on the UA Campus. Contact Emily at for questions.



Iskashitaa Refugee Network is also organizing a Global Thanksgiving Potluck at Desert Courtyards where refugees and low income families reside  (1411 N. Alvernon) on Thursday, November 24th, 11am-1pm. Interested parties can contact Ron Holland for details (720) 838-3251. Contact