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National Refugee Project Overview

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  • 1. National Refugee Project Sathya Sai Young Adults United States of America
  • 2. Project - Background Nearly two decades of crisis in Bhutan sprang from the ethnocentric policies and feelings of the Government against the Nepali-speaking citizens of southern Bhutan, called Lhotshampas. They have become victims of the government’s “ethnic cleansing” policies. An estimated 107,000 Bhutanese refugees of Nepalese origin have been living in seven U.N. camps in southeastern Nepal - their home for the past 17 years. The UN is now relocating these refugees into several countries including the US. Around 60,000 refugees will be displaced to the US up until 2013.
  • 3. Project - Overview  The UN, through various non-profit organizations, is sponsoring the refugees for 5-6 months. This support includes food, housing, and basic training. The families expected to be independent by the end of this time-period.  Because of the current economic situation, very few families have been able to locate jobs, and are therefore not able to become self-sufficient within this 5-6 month timeframe.  Sai Centers and local Sai groups in Nashville, Boston, Memphis, Dallas, Cincinnati, Denver, Phoenix, and other cities are working to assist these refugees through the partner organizations in becoming independent.  Our purpose is to support the local groups all over the country as they assist refugees in their areas.  The project may expand to refugees beyond those from Bhutan in the future.
  • 4. NRP Role The National Refugee Project has two roles: 1. Support Local Groups from across the country that have identified various needs that they and the refugees they serve have. 2. When a new Local Group is forming in new cities (like Protland, OR, Seattle, WA, Oakland, CA), the NRP will provide support in the form of best practices and materials. NRP will facilitate the formation of “working groups” in each of these Local Groups that will focus on and help address each category of need.
  • 5. NRP Team Structure LOCAL WORKING GROUPS GROUPS -Healthcare Education Group -Financial Education Group -Basic Computer Training Group Working groups represent young adults from all over the country working on needs of the local groups in various cities.
  • 6. Current Categories of Needs The below list is only a small sample of all the needs. The needs will change from city to city. 1. Education  Create pamphlets or lesson plans for different domains such as finance, health, schooling system etc. These materials will help local groups provide the right information for the refugee families. 2. Job Search  Research job opportunities available for the refugee families. 3. Supplies  Help gather tangible items necessary to support the refugee families. For example, computers, software, clothing, household items etc. 4. Information Exchange  Create an effective means to store and share information among various groups.
  • 7. Needs: 1. Education  Training/Lesson Plans  Financial lessons  Opening bank account  Applying for loans  Credit cards  Paying bills  Basic computer skills  Email/ Internet  Acquire donated computers for the families.  Acquire useful software (MS Office, etc.).  Work with Comcast/other ISP to get free/reduced internet access
  • 8. Needs: 1. Education  English Language Training  Reading/writing skills  Rosetta Stone has a good computer-based English learning system, however this costs $250. Contact Rosetta Stone to try and get 100-200 copies donated.  Acquire Nepalese-English dictionaries  Healthcare System Awareness  Describe how the healthcare works
  • 9. Needs: 1. Education  Education System Awareness  Describe how the schooling system works, including grades, standardized tests (SAT, MCAT..), libraries etc.  Car driving lessons  Local transportation awareness (subways, buses)  Tutoring assistance for children (Math and Science)  Home cleaning/appliance trainings (using dishwasher, vacuum cleaners, microwave, etc.)  Counseling  Advise youth on applications, admission processes, financial aid for college.  Advice on career opportunities
  • 10. Needs: 2. Job Search  Database  Applicants looking for jobs with their resumes  Job openings  Vocational Training  Most of them have had no opportunity to acquire job skills Notes:  Refugees have no work permit restrictions (almost like a US citizen)  Look for jobs only in the cities they are living  Examples: Airports, Fitness centers
  • 11. Needs: 3. Supplies  Computers, printers, software  Home appliances (microwave, iron press, kitchen appliances, utensils)  School textbooks  Winter clothing  Footwear  Grocery items
  • 12. Needs: 4. Information Exchange  Document sharing  Share lesson plans, brochures, pamphlets  Communication between refugee families and also Sai Families/NRP  Database  Information of families  Job openings  Current issues in various cities  Interactive webpage with project details.