Friends of Refugees

A U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Watchdog Group

Bombarding refugees with new information leads to poor home safety orientation

Posted by Christopher Coen on September 15, 2012

It seems that a lot of refugees arriving in Fort Morgan as secondary migrants from other states have had inadequate cultural and home orientations. Many refugees are inundated with information when they first arrive, leading to inadequate retention and poor understanding. A man who holds orientation workshops to help immigrants and refugees to adapt to their new surroundings says that the key to any education is “repetition.” Refugees cannot be expected to understand everything they must learn right away. An article at The Fort Morgan Times explains:

Morgan County agencies talked about creating orientation workshops for immigrants and refugees on how to take care of homes on Tuesday during a refugee services meeting in Fort Morgan.

Apparently, some renters do not know how to use equipment in homes such as ovens, garbage disposals and even showers properly, some local landlords reported.

That can cause problems if renters use a stove improperly or do not use shower curtains while showering, they said. A stove and oven can be damaged, and a bathroom flooded when renters do not know how to use them.

Many immigrants come from countries that do not use the same kinds of household appliances, and they simply do not know the proper way to use them. When refugees come into the U.S., they are given orientation to American homes, but they are bombarded with new things, and find it hard to remember everything with just one telling.

Scott Robbins of KOR Consulting, LLC…holds orientation workshops to help immigrants and refugees to adapt to their new surroundings.

He said the key to any education is “repetition.” People cannot expect refugees to understand everything they must learn right away.

Robbins advocates giving immigrants an initial orientation, then going back later to teach them in more depth. It is best to get back with immigrants within 30 to 60 days to do a serious workshop as part of a 10-day cultural orientation, which sometimes happens…

The No. 1 concern is that refugees need training in how to run an American household, Zion said.

For example, they need to know what kinds of cleaning products to use on what parts of the house or apartment, she said. They need to know that they need vacuum cleaners and toilet plungers.

They also need to know that it is the responsibility of tenants to change light bulbs or batteries in smoke alarms, landlords told Zion.

Sometimes, refugees will put the wrong things down drains or garbage disposals, or they do not understand that electric stoves need cleaning to keep them safe, or that refrigerators need to be closed, she was told…

They need to know, for instance, that they cannot use a charcoal grill of any kind inside, even if it is a hibachi…Read more here

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One Response to “Bombarding refugees with new information leads to poor home safety orientation”

  1. diing78 said

    They also do home safety orientation upon arrival when refugees are exhausted from international flights, which is necessary in order to be safe in the apartments, but shouldn’t the information be repeated the next day?

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