Cultural Orientation Dadaab Refugee Camps Dadaab, Kenya Robinson Cook
In January of 2009, I spent one week observing the cultural orientation classes for refugees in Dadaab Kenya before their resettlement to the United States. This presentation only represents what I experienced along the way. I simply recorded and photographed what I saw, heard and touched. I am now sharing it with friends and colleagues to help unhinge the misperceptions people have about refugees who come from East Africa and in particular, Somalia. In the end I hope anyone who views this presentation can appreciate what refugees have gone through just to come to the U.S.. I hope you share in the hopes and dreams of your future neighbors, co-workers, and friends.
What Do You Know About Somalia? What Do You Know About The Dadaab Refugee Camps?
1960 – Somali independence from Italy and merger with British Somaliland 1960 - Adan Adulle Osman elected as President 1967 - Abdirashid Ali Sharmaarke elected as 2 nd president and 1969 - Abdirashid Ali Sharmaarke assassinated by his bodyguard in 1969. 1969 - General Mohamed Said Barre took over during a bloodless coup. History Mogadishu
Conflict In Somalia Taxi that runs between the refugee camps. 1991 - Said Barre was ousted by a Northern and Southern clan based force called the USC lead by Military leader General Mohamed Farah AIdid and Abdirahman Tura 1996 - Mohamed Farrah Aidid was killed in Mogadishu. Since 1991 there have been fourteen efforts at national reconciliation. 2009 - Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed elected President The basis of most of the conflicts was clan allegiances and competition for resources between the warring clans.
Cultural Orientation Discussion About Child Support
Question: What are the good things about Somali culture?
Question: What are the not so good things about Somali culture?
Question: What is good and not so good about Ethiopian (Anywok) culture?
Marry one woman
Men and women are equal and they love each other
Men and women eat together
Not so good:
If you marry and you don’t have the money, the father-in-law will beat you
We knock out the women’s bottom six teeth
Biting people is not good
Answer: Here are the good things about our culture.
We greet strangers when they come to our home.
Somali’s slaughter an animal for a visitor
Respect for old people
Respect between man and woman
Help the disabled and needy
Respect between parents and children
Respect neighbors rights and rights between neighbors
Intermarriage within Somali community brings people together
In Somali culture men have their dress and women have theirs
There is equality among Somali men
There is only one religion
Somali’s don’t steal
In Somali culture people trust each other
Somali’s maintain cleanliness and hygiene
Answer: Here are the not so good things about our culture.
Female Genital Mutilation
Marriage out of wedlock
Women being tortured
Forced divorce between loved couples
Not using child spacing
Child labor especially underage children
Very high dowry demand – 100 camels
Women not given or participating in the inheritance of father’s wealth
Young girls given to old men to marry in order for her family to get wealth from him
Discrimination against the minority and disadvantaged groups in society
Cultural Orientation Classes Life cycle of resettlement emotions for refugees. 2. Resettlement Bliss 4. Depression & Culture Shock 5. Stabilization. 1. Anticipation and excitement 3. Reality of new life in the U.S.
Cultural Orientation Video About Integration and Culture Shock
“ This discussion about the illegality of female genital mutilation in the U.S. is really more of a discussion about different values and how you will handle it when your values are challenged in your new setting.”
“ What will you do when your neighbors are drinking alcohol and barbecuing pork? What will you do when you are not permitted to leave work early to observe Ramadan?”