Health and Nutrition
We developed our health resources in with cooperation from government agencies, ethnic communities, and local experts to create culturally and linguistically appropriate materials. The Healthy Living Toolkit, Food and Nutrition handouts, and Mental Health resources are all included in this section.
HEALTHY LIVING TOOLKIT
In the past, the U.S. Reception and Placement Program has focused its admission efforts on small numbers of particularly vulnerable refugee groups who have suffered multiple layers of oppression and persecution. Many arrive with significant health problems and risk factors. We developed the Healthy Living Toolkit to educate refugees, immigrants, resettlement agencies, clinics, community based organizations, and other service providers on refugee health issues. The toolkit presents material in a culturally appropriate manner and is intended to help health care-related professionals more effectively assist refugees and immigrants and reduce health disparities among these populations. The toolkit is available in multiple languages:
Refugees and immigrants often come to the United States from countries in which the food, diet, and health care systems are quite different from those found in America. Establishing a healthy lifestyle and preventing illness in the United States can be difficult without a good understanding of how to adapt to American food. Through these food and nutrition resources seek to educate and assist refugees and immigrants with adopting healthy habits that help prevent nutrition-related disease.
Case managers, ESL teachers, health clinic staff, volunteers, and other service providers can use this flip chart to share culturally relevant nutrition information to refugees.
Nutrition Resource Handouts
The following nutrition handouts are designed to communicate basic nutrition information to refugees and immigrants in order to develop positive nutrition and lifestyle habits.
SERVING REFUGEES WITH DISABILITIES
Many refugees resettled in the United States have one or more disabilities. The Living with a Disability in the United States guidebook is written as an information and orientation book for refugees and their families. The Serving Refugees with Disabilities guidebook is a companion resource for resettlement agencies and other service providers.
REFUGEE HEALTH RESEARCH
FEMALE GENITAL CUTTING (FGC) CURRICULUM
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants’ International Institute of Erie (USCRI-IIE) was awarded funds to administer the One Community Program (OCP) in partnership with the International Institute of Minnesota (IIMN). OCP is a three-year program in Erie, Pennsylvania and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota that will focus on the Somali community and other refugee and immigrant groups (e.g., Iraqi, Ethiopian, Eritrean) that may be at-risk for female genital cutting (FGC).
We have developed a number of resources to help guide resettlement agencies in their provision of cultural orientation to newly arrived refugees and immigrants.
JOURNEY OF HOPE: CULTURAL ORIENTATION CURRICULUM FOR REFUGEE WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES
We developed the Journey of Hope cultural orientation packet to provide more in-depth, targeted materials for refugee women living in the United States.
SOMALI BANTU COMMUNITY ORIENTATION CURRICULUM
The Somali Bantu Community Orientation curriculum was developed to provide a deeper understanding of American culture and practices to Somali Bantu refugees. The curriculum was funded in part through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, November 2004. Cover photo courtesy UNHCR.
LIFE SKILLS FOR BURUNDIAN REFUGEES
We developed and distributed culturally and linguistically appropriate materials to help orient Burundian refugees in their transition to life in the United States. We held community gatherings and conducted educational outreach in resettlement communities to link refugees to mainstream service providers, build stronger relationships with local communities, and increase understanding about Burundian refugees. We also provided on-going technical assistance to refugees, health centers, schools, and other service providers (not limited to our network) to enhance knowledge, skills, and capacity to serve Burundian refugees.
We have developed family strengthening programs to help refugees and immigrants build strong communication and problem solving skills within their families. These resources teach family members to work together to become a strong support structure for one another as they build new lives in the United States.
We developed the Reconnecting Families handbook through a partnership with Fairfax (VA) County Public Schools. The handbook and parent and teen workbooks help recently reunited families develop healthy communications and begin to reestablish relationships after an extended separation. The materials will soon be available in Spanish.
OVERCOMING BARRIERS: A TOOLKIT FOR HELPING REFUGEES ADJUST TO LIFE IN THE UNITED STATES
This toolkit provides people who work with refugees a brief introduction to the variety of challenges that refugees face including crisis, symptoms of mental illness, and emergency situations. Materials have been designed to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of the audience, which includes refugee community leaders, case managers, and volunteers. This toolkit was developed by our Refugee Family Strengthening Program.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES
We have developed a number of culturally appropriate financial literacy resources, with the support of Citi Foundation, to provide case managers, ESL instructors, and community volunteers with the tools they need to help newcomers navigate the U.S. banking system and other financial services. The Banking on the Future brochures include Credit, Electronic Banking, IOM loans, and Using the Bank, and are available in six languages.
BANKING ON THE FUTURE CURRICULUM AND BROCHURES
VENEZUELAN REFUGEES: A Visit to the Ecuadoran/Colombian Border
USCRI visited Ecuador in December 2018 to observe protection risks facing Venezuelans and better understand the strategies being implemented to address these risks. USCRI interviewed various civil society organizations and volunteers aiding Venezuelans. For nearly 50 years USCRI has developed and published reports, country updates, statistical tables and most importantly, the World Refugee Survey. In 2018, we saw the need to learn more about the largest displacement of persons in Latin America in recent history.
FORGOTTEN REFUGEES: Eritrean Children in Northern Ethiopia
We have a long history—nearly four decades—of working with Eritreans fleeing violence and persecution. With initial visits to Eritrea in 1997 and its neighboring country, Ethiopia in 2010, we undertook the most recent mission to Ethiopia with the America Team for Displaced Eritreans, as well as other NGOs and volunteers during the first two weeks of December 2015. This report details the delegation’s findings and presents USCRI’s recommendations.
STUDY OF DOMESTIC CAPACITY TO PROVIDE MEDICAL CARE FOR VULNERABLE REFUGEES
Promoting Refugee Health and Well-Being
This study, funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), provides policy recommendations based on an assessment of refugees’ medical needs, services provided, and cost of care during the initial 90-day Reception and Placement period. This multi-disciplinary study assesses the capacity, impact, and service models for resettling medically vulnerable refugees at the following resettlement agencies and communities:
- International Institute of New England, Boston, MA
- International Institute of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN
- YMCA International Services, Houston, TX
- College of Southern Idaho Refugee Service Center, Twin Falls, ID
- Nationalities Service Center, Philadelphia, PA
Sites were selected for their diversity of health programming. Factors considered when identifying sites included: overall refugee arrival numbers to the state, rate of participation in the Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) program, the state’s participation in the Wilson-Fish Program and engagement in Medicaid expansion programs, and the current capability of the agency to provide medical case management to newly resettled refugees.
Data generated by this project in the five study sites shows a need for additional post-arrival support for the medically vulnerable, particularly for those with mental health conditions and mobility issues, as well as for those requiring hospitalization shortly after arrival.
CARTAGENA +30 INITIATIVE
International Protection and Effective Integration: Recommendations of Civil Society for the Current Dimensions of Asylum and Statelessness in Latin American and the Caribbean
We hvae collaborated with fellow non-governmental organizations working with refugees in the Americas to issue this report. It provides an examination of best practices and ongoing protection concerns in 14 countries in the region. This report is the result of extensive research, refugee focus groups, and interview with NGOs in the region working with refugees.
A PROFILE OF THE MODERN SALVADOREAN MIGRANT
In an international partnership with the Universidad Tecnológica de El Salvador (UTEC), this report provides information about Salvadorean migration patterns. Research was conducted by Salvadoreans among repatriated Salvadorean migrants. The report explores and analyzes the root causes of migration among Salvadorean adults and children, migrants’ concepts of identity, human rights, and modes of communication in relation to decisions to leave El Salvador. The report is designed to inform policymakers, government officials, and civil society organizations.
REFUGEE STATUS DETERMINATION IN LATIN AMERICA
Regional Challenges and Opportunities: The national systems in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Mexico
This report is a joint effort with the support of four NGOs in the region: the Asociación de Consultores y Asesores Internacionales (ACAI) from Costa Rica, the Instituto Migrações e Direitos Humanos (IMDH) from Brazil, Sin Fronteras IAP from MExico, and la Facultad de Derecho y el Consultorio Juridico de la Universidad de los Andes from Colombia. The report focuses on national systems of refugee status determination (RSD) in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Mexico and provides a review of national frameworks centering attention on due process, access to information, appeals mechanisms, and abbreviated RSD procedures.
POLICY PAPER: JORDAN
We offer policy recommendations for the Syrian refugee crisis.
WAREHOUSING REFUGEES CAMPAIGN
For many years we have worked to end refugee warehousing – the common practice of denying refugees the rights to work, move freely, or pursue a decent life while in exile. The resource below provides an overview of our work on the subject of refugee warehousing.