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August 15, 2013

Access orientation resources at www.culturalorientation.net
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Write in to Refugee Discussion

  Rohingya Refugees
  Resources for Refugee Families
  Resources regarding Children with Disabilities
  Phone Scams Targeting Refugees

Rohingya Refugees

RSC East Asia is planning to launch a targeted Information Campaign for the Rohingya in Malaysia in the coming months. To inform these efforts, the RSC would like to collect feedback and photos from agencies that have resettled these groups. We look forward to input on:

1) What are the biggest challenges this group faces?
2) What services have been the most helpful to them?
3) Examples of their experiences adapting to the community
4) Feedback on their resettlement experiences as Muslims in the US
5) Anything else that could help inform Rohingya and Burmese Muslims about the US resettlement experience

Also, we are hoping to collect photos of resettled Rohingya and Burmese Muslims (depicting their life in the US). Please send responses and photos to COR@cal.org. Thank you for any help you can offer!

Resources for Refugee Families

The HHS Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Head Start (OHS) has a number of resources that support refugee families. The handbook, Raising Young Children in a New Country: Supporting Early Learning and Healthy Development, focuses on refugee families and the parenting of children from the prenatal period through age 5. Throughout this handbook are easy-to-follow illustrations that provide families with information about healthy development, early learning and school readiness, and family engagement in early care. An adaptation of the Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) publication, Raising Children in a New Country: An Illustrated Handbook, this handbook was authored by BRYCS in collaboration with the National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness (NCCLR). Spanish and Arabic translations are expected to be completed during September 2013.

The OHS website also hosts the Head Start and Refugee Provider Communication Guide, among other useful early childhood resources, all part of a larger Refugee Resettlement-Head Start Collaboration Toolkit developed to promote partnerships between refugee resettlement and Head Start programs.

Office of Refugee Resettlement

Resources regarding Children with Disabilities

Teach UNICEF's August 2013 newsletter includes a focus on children with disabilities, noting that, regardless of ability, all children have a right to reach their full potential. UNICEF’s recently released a report, State of the World’s Children (SOWC) 2013: Children with Disabilities, and also hosts videos, stories and newly updated lessons to help educators teach about disability issues.

Dani Abrams
Training and Curriculum Development Specialist
Cultural Orientation Resource Center

Phone Scams Targeting Refugees

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) reminds everyone to be wary of unsolicited calls and messages that promise federal grants or other “free” money to refugees. Incidents of these phone scams appear to be on the rise again, using a variation on the information previously shared. The phone calls come from a Washington, DC telephone number, the caller identifying himself from Bank of America, or the IRS, or some other federal agency—including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The refugees receiving the calls are told that they are eligible for ten or even twenty thousand dollars in federal grant money—all theirs once they send a few hundred dollars by wire transfer to cover "processing fees"—or better yet, just send their bank account information so the funds can be deposited directly. Of course, it is all a scam—one that has targeted newly-arrived refugees, mostly Bhutanese, and bilked dozens of people out of thousands of dollars.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is following these scam attempts, and encourages anyone contacted with similar scams to report them through the FTC website. Their recently published Consumer Alert provides valuable tips on how to avoid being victimized, and what to do in case you are contacted. They have also set up a web page, Avoiding Scams Against Immigrants, with information and materials in several languages.

How can refugees avoid scams like this?
• Don't give important personal information - or money - to someone you don't know or to someone who contacts you unexpectedly.
• Remember that the U.S. government does not charge security deposits or processing fees when it gives financial grants.
• If you are a refugee and get a call like this, talk to the case manager at your resettlement agency immediately. Then report it to the Federal Trade Commission online or at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them.

Resettled refugees are once again advised to consult with their local resettlement agencies if someone claiming to represent the government contacts them, especially if there are promises of cash or prizes.

Please help the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) spread the warning about these scams, and stop others from being victimized by these criminals. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/news/update-phone-scams-targeting-refugees


Refugee Discussion is supported by funding from the Department of State/Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). The contents do not necessarily represent the policies of that agency, and the reader should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

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