Team: Refugee Careers
The days have flown by! It’s week three of Tiger Challenge, and Team Refugee Careers is making good headway on our project. We’ve spent the first few weeks scoping out our question: how can we help refugees find stable and fulfilling careers? This past week was spent refining our design brief, and conducting interviews with mentors and community members. From our research, two obstacles keep appearing as major barriers refugees face for every volunteer organization we’ve talked to – the first is finding a job, and the second is learning English. From this information, we’ve started refining our design brief and will ideally a few fleshed out potential solutions in the next couple of weeks. We’ve seen several kinds of solutions already - many revolve around food. For example, we visited Global Grace Cafe, an initiative of Interfaith Rise, which hires chefs who are refugees to cook foods from their homelands several times a week. During our visit, we had grilled chicken and bulgur wheat pilaf prepared by a refugee from Syria. Everything was delicious!
The interviews we’ve conducted have been incredible experiences. We’ve learned an amazing amount from our mentors about both the big picture questions of refugee resettlement and the smaller but equally important stories of the individual people who have faced violence and persecution, the total upheaval of their lives, and the difficulty of cultural adjustment and yet flourish here. Although privacy issues prevent us from discussion specific cases, their stories are really inspirational and push us to keep working hard.
Next week, we plan to finally meet with a refugee family. Empathy and cultural awareness are key for this process and we hope to conduct the interview with sensitivity and care.
Our team visiting the Global Grace Cafe and our mentor Carrie at Interfaith Rise.