Resettlement Project Complete

Our goal, when we go into a refugee resettlement project is to complete the project within 6 months.  In order to consider the resettlement complete means that the family is self-sufficient, at least in the normal, day-to-day tasks, of life in our society.  Usually there are areas of weakness that may need to be attended to for up to year, but if the main thrust can be completed in 6 months we know we’ve done well.

If you’ve read along with our journey, a resettlement case study that I began on July 20, 2009, you know we started with two Karenni families from Burma.

This resettlement project has been a greater challenge for us than most.  With two families, who did often not get along with each other, and therefore quicker burnout of our team, the last couple months have been a greater stuggle than usual.

However, today I am happy to report that in this past week, for the family that has remained in our care in Waukesha, the father has secured employment!  This coming Monday he will go through training for his job.  Then on Friday he’ll begin work, which is a 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. shift three days per week.

Having a job is of crucial importance to self-sufficiency.  Obviously, we want the refugees to pay for their own existence, and contribute to our society, not be a burden upon society. 

Perhaps a little less obvious is the self-esteem gained by the employed, as he is able to contribute to the welfare of his own family.  We have found that more than anything else, the men of the families want jobs.  They don’t want to sit around and have people take care of them.  They want to be the providers for their families.

Once employment is secured, their relationships in their families improve.  Their perspective on society improves.  And, our relationship with the refugee family can start to diminish.

It is at the point of employment that we can first consider that our project may be coming to an end.  Sure, we’ll still have to help out with little things from time to time, but the biggies are behind us.  Housing, medical needs, schooling, shopping, language training, and more, have been handled.  It’s just the job that remains.  And now, for this family, the job is in place!

The family arrived July 21.  The hire date was January 13 and the job will begin January 22.  Six months?  Yes, I think we can call it a success!

(Check back within the next few days.  I’ll post a summary of our time and expenses on this project.)

One Response to “Resettlement Project Complete”

  1. Jill says:

    I just saw your post from last August on the Community of Grace website refugee blog(sorry for the delay) and started to read yours. You are right on about the 6 month mark as the period of definition. Some families are ready to go then and others just like to keep you around as a friend, which is nice too. I am going to read as many of the rest of your posts as possible over the next week or so. You had a great idea to chart the path. Thanks.

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