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Incoming Congolese Refugees

Incoming Congolese Refugees

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Incoming Congolese Refugees

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  1. Incoming Congolese Refugees Sanja Bebic National Refugee and Immigrant Conference: Issues and Innovations October 10, 2013 Chicago, Illinois

  2. Cultural Orientation Resource Center at CAL Funded by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration to: • Research, develop and disseminate resources about refugee training and resettlement; • Provide technical assistance to refugee service providers regarding refugees’ cultures, languages and orientation needs; and • Develop a globally linked network to exchange refugee orientation information, concerns, and best practices.

  3. Congolese Refugees: Where? Source : Largely from eastern Congo, in the North and South Kivu regions Primary countries of asylum: Uganda – 131,500 (settlements & Kampala) Rwanda – 59,000 (camps) Burundi – 47,000 (three camps & Bujumbura) Tanzania – 63,000 (Nyarugusu camp) In FY12, RSC Africa resettled Congolese applicants from 75 different locations in South, West, and East Africa Refugees in the doorway of a house, Gihembe Refugee Camp, Rwanda

  4. Congolese Refugees: Who? • Gender: Pretty even between males & females • Travel group size: Average 6, but families are extended • Minors: Over 50% of applicants • Young adults and minors:Over 70% of applicants • Education: 19% have completed secondary schooling • English: Nearly 50% of applicants have none; an additional 26% have some • Religion: More than 90% Christian (Seventh Day Adventists 26%; Pentecostals 23%; Catholics 14%; other Protestant Christian denominations 30%)

  5. Congolese Refugees: Who (and Who Else)? • Numerous ethnic groups • History of tension • Many languages: Kinyarwanda KiswahiliOthers • Relationship between language and ethnic group

  6. Congolese Refugees: What do we hear? 6

  7. Congolese Refugees: Cultural Orientation CO Offered: RSC Africa offers five-day six-hour CO sessions for Congolese in variety of locations Material tailored to Congolese: focus on group work, discussion, and videos Focus: general key messages of overseas orientation Supplemental activities and information on: - parenting and discipline in the U.S. - cultural adjustment - money management - employment - mental health Response: Group very active, engaged, attentive, and inquisitive

  8. Congolese Refugees: Collaborations • PRM- and ORR-convened working group, which includes: • National Resettlement Agencies • State Refugee Coordinators • Refugee Health Coordinators • Refugee Council USA • National Technical Assistance Providers • UN High Commission for Refugees • Sub-groups • Preparing refugees for U.S. resettlement • Marshalling appropriate public & private resources • Preparing communities/stakeholders

  9. Congolese Refugees: Materials • Refugees from the DRC backgrounder • Background of the refugee crisis • Ethnic composition of the caseload • Conditions in exile • Cultural and socio-economic characteristics • Information about CO • Resettlement experiences • Highlights • High incidence of trauma • Ethnic group and language considerations • Key role of religious communities as support networks • Youth of caseload • Issues within families

  10. Congolese Refugees: Additional Materials COR Center web page on Congolese: www.culturalorientation.net, within Learning About Refugees, Refugee Populations, Congolese Refugees COR Center CO highlight: within Providing Orientation & Training, Overseas CO, Overseas CO Programs, RSC Africa

  11. Contact COR Center www.culturalorientation.net 202-362-0700 cor@cal.org 4646 40th St. NW Washington, DC 20016-1859