خدمات مبتنی بر دانشگاه برای پناهجویان در گوام : توانمند سازی، یادگیری فرهنگ و جامعه
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 34, Issue 2, March 2010, Pages 150–162
Theoretical frameworks addressing social support, community building, and the affective, behavioral and cognitive factors in coping with acculturative stress, guide an analysis of two interventions by University of Guam faculty, in support of Kurdish and Burmese asylum seekers on Guam. The article provides insights concerning the potential contributions of non-refugee specialist university faculty to services for refugees: persons in the most stressful of cross-cultural transitions. The authors discuss the ways in which both findings from traditional acculturation studies, and needs assessment studies of Kurdish and Burmese asylum seekers, guided intervention services rendered to both groups.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
When their communities and cultures receive refugees, university faculty are well positioned to provide them with information and other critical resources not always accessible from established official networks. Such interventions apply skills and knowledge that faculty use routinely in teaching institutions; and such was the nature of UOG faculty members’ work with Kurdish evacuees. We developed acculturation manuals and addressed spontaneous questions generated by the support group. Open group discussions, independently, not only confirmed the need for such information, but also identified the specific areas of greatest concern to Kurdish refugees in that particular time period. Burmese refugees, on the other hand, were primarily interested in skills, such as language and technology. University faculty were also able to address these needs. Both cases demonstrate that the base of knowledge and skills available in a university setting can be readily tapped in a refugee crisis, to address urgent needs. Needs assessments will necessarily guide decisions about what services to offer, based in part on the refugees’ own priorities. The two cases discussed in this article demonstrate that community may emerge among refugees as a product of the simple act of gathering in groups and taking part in need-based activities. The two groups, the Kurds and the Burmese, initially devoted their collective attention to different aspects of the acculturation process. However, once formed into small communities with whom they shared the same culture and language, they were able to identify additional important goals that are common to all persons in cross-cultural transitions—e.g., maintenance of cultural practices, and promotion of their cultures—that contributed meaning to their time in small, refugee camp-based communities. Much of the highly valuable work routinely done with refugees and immigrants, such as health and mental health screenings, or structured interviews for research purposes, involves individual, professional encounters. As such, it does not lend itself to community building. University volunteers’ roles and the culturally sensitive approach applied in this case were beneficial in fostering communities among asylum seekers. We hope that our experiences may encourage other non-specialist university faculty to consider volunteering services to refugees as opportunities present themselves. We believe that they will have much to offer.