Monday, May 2, 2016

Integration Barriers: Perspectives from Refugee Youth (An Overview)

In February, 25 refugee youth gathered in Washington, DC to identify and discuss the biggest barriers they face adjusting to life in America. 
  • Language 
  • Discrimination and Bullying
  • Education
  • Cultural Adjustment

The following infographic provides a snapshot of the demographics of these 25 youth and their experiences before and after resettlement. During the next week, we will be expanding on each of these barriers. The refugee youth analyzed the causes and impacts of each barrier and then discussed what could be done to fix them. Solutions ranged from what can be done better overseas in refugee camps to what can be done here by schools and local communities. These barriers, causes, impacts, and solutions all came from the refugee youth themselves. Please take a moment to better understand the challenges young refugees face and what you can do to help. 

Click here to download a PDF of this infographic.


19 comments:

  1. Do you have any specific recommendations for what kinds of events to organize within the community to promote integration?

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    1. Joining with a local church or mosque to host a welcome dinner is always nice!

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  2. In regards to reaching out to parents - was there any specific approach providers can use - one on one vs group setting?

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    1. Parents are a lot harder to deal with in my opinion, however many parents want to know how they can be successful here in America. I can't speak for everyone, but many African parents like to host Dinners, or even being invited to one. Food always get people involved, sharing food experiences, and once you become comfortable, introduce any learning/teaching that you wish to accomplish.

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  3. What are some of the best types of interventions to do with families with small children to help reduce stress in the homes and community?

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    1. Check out BRYCS book "Raising Young Children in a New Country: Supporting Early Learning and Healthy Development" available in multiple languages with a how to use guide and tip sheets: http://www.brycs.org/publications/index.cfm#earlychildhood

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  4. What can we do to help with the parent-child role reversal?

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    1. I think as a parent, you don't necessarily have to change your parenting style, but you need to understand difficult it is to live with people you don't know too well. For me, my parents talkyd to me about doing shores, it simply that, if you do, you get this much. My patents are big on independence, i remember this one time when I was looking for my first job. My dad made me sit for hours, until I got at least 5 applications, although at though that was unfair, it was the best thing I've ever learn. When I look at my life now, everything that my parents did or didn't do, helped shape who I am today. So to answer your question, I would say just understand, that you're the parents they're kids, your parenting might not always be welcomed, but if it's what you must do to make sure they are successful in America, then you need to show them that. My parents would be telling me this after every hard time we grow through "we love you, and we want you to be successful" at the time, this meant nothing to me, but me I understand.

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  5. What are some suggestions to working with schools/districts that don't seem to have an agenda to be inclusive?

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    1. BRYCS School Toolkit is a good starting point! http://www.brycs.org/publications/schools-toolkit.cfm

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  6. What advice would you give to other refugee youth that are just arriving?

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    1. I would tell them to be open, and willing to try on new things. I personally didn't have a choice but to try on new things. I think I'm the best I could be at my age, living alone is the most difficult thing I've ever done, but also the best learning experience.

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  7. What's 1 thing a teacher did that was particularly helpful to you in your new school or that you wish they did to help you adjust?

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    1. My french teacher introduced me to all the French kids in her class, she told them to use me, and I'll use them, so we did. If they saw me anywhere, they're try speaking to me in their broken french, and I'll try my broken English. We'll go out for lunch, they're help me order and this little things like that.

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  8. What advice do you have for refugee parents that are just arriving? What can they do to help their children adjust to life in the U.S.?

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    1. For more insight into the experiences refugee parents face: http://www.brycs.org/aboutRefugees/parenting_interviews.cfm

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  9. What is one thing you wish you knew before arriving to the U.S.?

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    1. Well, for starters, I wish I knew what my parents were like.I think if I saw a picture or Skyped, or something, it might have helped me loosen up a little bit. For all I knew my parents could have been anyone and anything. I remember driving home from the airport and hearing my parents talking and laughing, I didn't know what they were saying so I thought they were going to eat me for some reason. But also I wish I knew what life was really like here in America. Like things that people do everyday, like going to work, and doing a lot of homework. The school that I went to we didn't have homeworks we just had exams. A little history of racism, and bullying.

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    2. Well, for starters, I wish I knew what my parents were like.I think if I saw a picture or Skyped, or something, it might have helped me loosen up a little bit. For all I knew my parents could have been anyone and anything. I remember driving home from the airport and hearing my parents talking and laughing, I didn't know what they were saying so I thought they were going to eat me for some reason. But also I wish I knew what life was really like here in America. Like things that people do everyday, like going to work, and doing a lot of homework. The school that I went to we didn't have homeworks we just had exams. A little history of racism, and bullying.

      Delete