In January of 2009, I spent one week doing an independent observation of
the cultural orientation classes for refugees in Dadaab Kenya before their
resettlement to the United States. This presentation 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 to come to the U.S.. I hope you share in the hopes and
dreams of your future neighbors, co-workers, and friends.
The Visit To Dadaab
How This Presentation Is Organized 1. Who Is A Refugee and How Does A Person Become A Refugee? 2. Cultural Orientation - What Refugees Learn About The U.S. Before Coming Here. 3. What happens when they get to the U.S. 4. How You Can Support Refugee Resettlement Efforts.
The convention was approved at a special United Nations conference on 28 July 1951. It entered into force on 22 April 1954. It was initially limited to protecting European refugees after World War II but a 1967 Protocol removed the geographical and time limits, expanding the Convention's scope.
The Refugee Act is a 1980 United States federal law that reformed United States immigration law and admitted refugees on systematic basis for humanitarian reasons. Annual Presidential Ceiling of 80,000 for 2010
Question: What are the good things about Somali culture?
Question: What are the not so good things about Somali culture?
Answer: Here are the good things about Somali 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
“ 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 America.”
“ 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?”
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.
You will have an assigned seat throughout the flight.
This is what your meal will look like. The flight attendants will bring it to you.
Here is what your plane ticket will look like.
Congratulations on completing your cultural orientation. You will now travel to the U.S. within one to four weeks from today.
Titus explain traveling to the United States. “Do not open this bag until you reach the U.S.. It has all of your documentation.
COMMON FEARS Dealing with the weather (snow, etc.) Plane crash Meeting new people and dealing with diverse groups from other parts of the world Cultural adjustment English language may be difficult New life where there is individualism as opposed to a collective way of life
COMMON FEARS Not being able to fit into U.S. culture Racism Homosexuality Difference in religion Adjusting to the new climate Many cars & accidents
COMMON FEARS Discipline of children Might not have freedom of worship (this refers to being able to pray when one wants) Might be accused of terrorism Electric shocks Coercion into joining the army Use of machines such as cookers, dishwashers, washing machines, etc. Wild fires Feeling insecure because the U.S. has enemies e.g. 9/11 Drug abuse
Post Refugee Resettlement – Family of four Monthly Living Expenses Past Initial Resettlement Month 2 Income: $1440 – ($9.00/Hour x 160 hours or 1 month) 1 Person Monthly Living Expenses $600 - Rent $40 - Electricity $100 - Heat $200 - Groceries ($25/bag of groceries). $100 - Clothes $80 - Gas $100 - Plane Ticket $1,220 – Total Monthly Expenses $1440 - $1,220 = $220 - Net income before Taxes *The end result is duplicated living situations.
Post Refugee Resettlement – Individual Monthly Living Expenses Past Initial Resettlement Month 2 Income: $-300 - Carryover $1440 – ($9.00/Hour x 160 hours or 1 month) 1 Person $250 – Refugee Cash Assistance (8 Months) $250 – Total Income Monthly Living Expenses $400 - Rent $40 - Electricity $100 - Heat $50 - Groceries ($25/bag of groceries). $25 - Clothes $80 - Gas $100 - Plane Ticket $795– Total Monthly Expenses $250 - $795 = $-545 - Net income before Taxes *The end result is duplicated living situations.
How To Support Local Refugee Resettlement Efforts
Donate time, money or expertise to refugee resettlement
Become an advocate when talking to your representatives.
Help educate friends and family about the resettlement experience.
Mission: To help reduce misperceptions about foreign cultures and
perpetuate the belief that we are all more alike than different.
About the Presenter Robinson Cook Professional Contact Info - Lutheran Social Services - Employment Service Director 612-879-5318 [email_address] or [email_address] This presentation can be viewed and downloaded at: www.slideshare.net (Search Word: Dadaab Cultural Orientation)