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The refugee: exploring perceptions, myths and realities

Where and when

Dallas Fort-Worth, USA. 28 December 2014 to 15 January 2015

Theme description

Today there are about 42 million displaced people in the world, the largest category of vulnerable people in the world. A refugee is an individual who is outside his or her country of origin due to fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion. The U.S. government grants sanctuary to a limited number of refugees who cannot safely return home or stay in a host country. In Texas, most refugees resettled in 2012 were from Burma, Iraq, Bhutan, and Somalia. The successful resettlement of refugees requires the engagement of a range of community stakeholders. Our Partner Organization is committed to working with these stakeholders and refugees to promote early self-sufficiency and through a variety of social and health services.

Project description

This IPP explores the existing perceptions and myths of the refugee, and challenges participants to understand the realities. IPPers will learn what happens to refugees when they come to the US; the preparation, process and support systems available. The project will also uncover the issues or concerns both refugees and the community faces during resettlement. IPPers will learn about refugees in the US, and be able to apply it to the refugee experiences within their own communities.

The IPP will work with the Center for Survivors of Torture, the Human Rights Initiative, and the Agape Clinic of Dallas to host various activities that serve the refugee community in Dallas, Texas. Our Partners will work closely with IPP participants to provide training and education on the issues impacting refugees, particularly those who have been affected by violence and/or abuse. IPPers will volunteer with the Partner Organizations in their community programmes, and collaborate with them to organize a Health Fair, promoting health and wellness. Throughout the IPP, we will develop a “storytelling” project, collecting stories from IPPers and the target group, which can be shared during the IPP and once participants return home.

Participant profile

Participants should have an interest in cultural diversity and social justice. Ideal participants will have experience working with children, youth, and adults from diverse cultural backgrounds, and we particularly encourage those familiar with the experience of immigrants and refugees. Participants should be mature, open minded, and sensitive to the needs of others. Those interested in this project should be able to work well with others, communicate effectively, and manage and resolve conflict.

How to take part
Contact your nearest CISV National Association and register your interest for IPP P-2014-010, USA.
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