Transcript Document

Civic Engagement in Action:
Congolese Refugees in Idaho
Amy Schaeffer and Jeremy Blades
COUN 507: Career Development and Vocational Counseling, Spring 2010
Instructor Name: Dr. Aida Hutz
Community Partner Name: Agency for New Americans
Community Partner’s Mission Statement : Agency for New Americans (ANA)
is all about providing the education and skills necessary for refugees to become
self-sufficient. We are a private, nonprofit provider of employment, case management,
and training services for people who have fled their homeland and are unable to return
due to fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, or membership in a
particular social group or political opinion. We believe in human rights, education,
and cultural diversity. Americans are the daughters and sons of immigrants-we
welcome those who, through no fault of their own, must start their lives anew with the
protection of freedom and dignity. ANA provides the opportunity and know-how to
rebuild their lives by means of direct job placement following extensive English
tutoring, acculturation, and job-seeking skills.
Service Project Purpose: To help recent refugees work towards obtaining
Learning goals: To be reflective and adaptive to family needs, be reflective
of cross-cultural and multi-cultural dynamics, engage in direct respectful and
non-defensive communication with multiple entities.
Reflection: Some of the main insights gained were:
1. Not everyone starts a journey from the same place.
2. Identifying individual needs, world views and norms is crucial.
3. Empowerment and encouragement are different than enabling and doing
something for someone.
4. The society-given labels and titles do not accurately depict the power of
human resiliency.
5. Not all refugees have experienced trauma and trauma is measured on a
variant scale.
To Whom It May Concern:
In helping a refugee fill out an application for a job
within your company my colleagues and I were
surprised to find out that there was no “Country”
drop-down box to choose from. This caused
enormous problems, as “State” was a required field
for both “Previous Address” and “Previous
Employment.” Because those fields were required, if
not selected, the site would throw up an error
message, and the individual could not proceed with
the application until s/he filled in the required field.
This causes not only a great deal of confusion, but
also the potential for applicants to lie on their job
application, through no fault of their own, because
they are in need of a job (especially in light of the
current economy). Refugees are forced out of their
native country and crammed into refugee camps with
little shelter, food, and protection. When they finally
are able to go to another country, such as the United
States, they have no possessions, no money, and
often times do not speak English. It is imperative
that when a refugee is ready to begin employment
that they are able to accurately and honestly answer
the questions on the employment application.
In order for your company to maintain that they do
not discriminate based on race, etc., we are asking
that you please update your online job application to
allow for people who have moved here from other
countries. Thank you in advance for doing the right