Other Ways to Help: There are a number of ways in which volunteers can help refugees transition into life in the U.S. that are not core services (services that World Relief is required to provide.) Feel free to use the following ideas, or come up with your own.
How should I prepare for their arrival?
- Familiarize yourself with their neighborhood
- Gather donations for their furniture, groceries, etc.
- Help set up their apartment (furniture, groceries)
How can I get the whole family involved?
- Kids can teach other kids American greetings and slang
- If you have teenagers, have them teach the newcomers how to use the internet.
- Continual help with cultural adjustment
- Teach refugees how to drive, teaching them the way around by car.
We know English learning is important. How can we help? (http://worldreliefhighpoint.org/education-esl-overview/ )
- Building friendship and having conversations naturally helps them practice English
- Volunteers can be assigned as a conversation partner to a specific refugee
- Help refugees with ESL class homework
- Teach ESL class or be a one-on-one tutor
How can I help with employment?
- Help them find jobs. It is the refugees’ responsibility to be proactive about their job search, but the ones with more limited English may need help going to stores and asking for applications.
How can I help my refugee partner develop and maintain healthy habits?
- Coach them on good hygiene: http://worldreliefhighpoint.org/healthself-sufficiency-toolkit/
- Teach women about women’s hygiene and connect them to pregnancy resources if relevant (PSS)
- Where to get halal meats, and other culturally specific food, and how to get there: http://worldreliefhighpoint.org/halal-meat-stores/
- Teach them how to upkeep their home: http://worldreliefhighpoint.org/healthself-sufficiency-toolkit/
- Personal nutrition: how to shop on food stamps, how to balance diet. [This could be a family activity!]
What are some cultural things we take for granted that will help refugees become self-sufficient?
- Following signs
- Looking for labels on meats to see if they are okay to eat
- How to talk to and relate to employers and co-workers
- How to fill out taxes
- How to check in at doctor’s, school, or other administrative offices.
How can I help my refugee partner(s) with transportation?
- Take a day and ride the bus with the refugees, to help them learn the stops and streets
- Important places to know:
- High Point Station
- grocery stores,
- WR office,
- children’s schools,
- GTCC/ESL classes
- hospital/primary care doctor’s
- pharmacy (make sure to bring a $3 copay)
- health department
- social services
- post office (show them where and how to buy stamps)
- Many refugees would benefit from more personalized care with transportation, especially once they get a job (ex. For clients who work night shifts, volunteers can help them arrange rides with coworkers, or get a car/bike donated.)
How can volunteers help with education-related tasks? (http://worldreliefhighpoint.org/education-school-overview-toolkit/)
- Explain school documents to the refugee family (report cards, field trip forms, etc.)
- Bring the family on a school visit to familiarize them with the building
- Teach them about the school system (grading, homework, standardized testing, etc)
- Take them school supplies shopping
- Homework help
How can I help refugees with their finances? (http://worldreliefhighpoint.org/finances-overview/)
- Teach refugees how to set up a bank account and how to use it (how to write checks– use an enlarged copy of a check as an example, make deposits, etc)
- Teach refugees about the ATM, debit and credit cards
- Explain bills and balancing a checkbook, help them read their bills
- Coach them through balancing a monthly budget
- Teach refugees about American currency [This could be a family activity!]
- Teach them “financial English”
Miscellaneous but important:
- Provide them with a calendar, and help them write down due dates, their appointment schedule and when volunteer teams will come.
- Take them to register at a public library, if they want (within 30 days of arrival).
- Talk to refugees about phones, taking them to get a phone if necessary.
- Take them to a laundromat or show them how to do laundry using a machine.