Anne-Cecile Raphael: a multilingual, multi-talented volunteer

It’s National Volunteer Recognition Week, and every day this week we’ll be highlighting a Sanctuary volunteer being honored at our Pillars of Change Volunteer Recognition event on May 5th. Learn more and register for Pillars of Change.

Anne-Cecile Raphael is an attorney, an advocate, a transplant to the United States from France, and speaks four languages (French, Chinese, German and English).

Who better to serve as a volunteer attorney with Sanctuary’s Immigration Intervention Project and Anti-Trafficking Initiative?

Anne-Cecile first became interested in bringing together her legal expertise and her interest in gender issues when volunteering with trafficking survivors in France. After moving to the United States almost two years ago, she found Sanctuary and began volunteering in our Legal Center. Her previous experience as an attorney in France and in China made her a valuable asset to our team from the start.

While at Sanctuary, Anne-Cecile has assisted numerous West African clients in navigating their immigration cases, and recently got involved with the Anti-Trafficking Initiative (ATI). A fluent Mandarin speaker, Anne-Cecile represents the growing number of Chinese clients seeking services with ATI.‎

Having previously worked with Chinese sex trafficking survivors in Europe, Anne-Cecile brings with her the cultural sensitivity and knowledge necessary to win client trust and to effectively address clients’ experiences of sexual violence, exploitation and trauma.

“Anne-Cecile has demonstrated great compassion and patience during her many sessions with clients, who have difficulty speaking about their horrific past,” shares Carolien Hardenbol, Co-Director of the Immigration Intervention Project.

“She has shown great dedication to serving some of Sanctuary’s most high-needs clients and is highly motivated to addressing the multiple challenges our clients face.”

Anne-Cecile recently received some exciting news: she was accepted to the Masters Program in Anthropology at Columbia University.

“I know this may affect my ability to volunteer regularly with Sanctuary,” she says. “But I hope to find new ways to stay involved and connect my interests!”

She’s already found one very dedicated way to stay involved – next November, Anne-Cecile plans to run the New York City Marathon on behalf of Sanctuary, raising funds and spreading the word about our work to end gender violence.

We are so grateful to Anne-Cecile for her incredible service, and look forward to honoring her at Pillars of Change on May 5, 2016.

You can join us at Pillars of Change by registering now. We hope to see you there!