Redefining “basic” needs: Resettlement challenges and health of refugee families

Title: Redefining “basic” needs: Resettlement challenges and health of refugee families

Author: Simon, Corrina D.

Date: May 2008

Description: Master’s Paper, Clark University, Department of International Development, Community and Environment

This paper by way of interviews with eight African refugee families (24 individuals) in Worcester, MA, addresses three research questions. First, what challenges are refugee families still facing after one year in the U.S.? Second, how are these challenges related to health? Third, how can the Lutheran Refugee and Immigrant Services (LRIS) agency adjust their services to help refugees overcome these challenges? Of central concern to the refugees were health problems that resulted from trauma experienced in their countries of origin – Liberia, Cameroon and Somalia. The paper concludes that there is a need for resettlement agencies to incorporate culturally appropriate mental health services in order to meet their mission of providing for the basic needs and successful resettlement of refugees.

Keywords: refugees, community groups, immigration services, refugee services, refugee health, resettlement.

Cataloged by: Amy Totten/ B. J. Perkins

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