USCRI: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

Supporting the Successful Integration of Burundian Refugees

Program Overview
Each year, thousands of refugees arrive in the United States bringing with them a range of experiences and backgrounds.  Some refugees face particular challenges upon arrival and need additional support.  The communities receiving them also need to be well prepared to adjust and respond to the specific and unique needs of the newcomers.  USCRI's Supporting the Successful Integration of Burundian Refugees program, funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, assists Burundian families and individuals arriving to the United States from refugee camps in western Tanzania.  These refugees, also known as the 1972 Burundians, have been displaced for over three decades, during which they had limited access to resources, education, and employment opportunities.  The program provides these Burundian refugees with the support they need to integrate and become self-sufficient in their new communities.  

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3

Click here for Educational Outreach Resources

USCRI's Participation
USCRI develops, produces, and distributes culturally and linguistically appropriate materials to help guide Burundian refugees in their transition to living in the United States.  We hold community gatherings and conduct educational outreach in resettlement communities to link refugees to mainstream service providers, build stronger relationships with local communities, and increase understanding about Burundian refugees.  Not only do we offer on-going technical assistance to refugees, but also to health centers, schools, and other service providers (not limited to the USCRI network) to enhance knowledge, skills, and capacity to cater services to the Burundian refugee population.

Partner Agencies' Participation
Refugee resettlement agencies provide Burundian refugees with culturally and linguistically accessible orientation materials and case management services.  They work with local service providers to ensure Burundians have access to education, medical and social services, and employment opportunities.  Partner agencies conduct presentations to inform communities about Burundian history and culture.  In addition, refugee resettlement agencies work with USCRI to coordinate community gatherings, bringing Burundian refugees and service providers together to share ideas and best practices, interact, and encourage greater support and understanding within recipient communities.

Communities’ Participation
Communities donate hours of volunteer time to assist Burundian refugees in learning English, shopping, cooking, budgeting, and otherwise understanding American culture and practices.  They donate food, clothing, and household items that make the adjustment to a new home easier for Burundians.  Strong community support helps Burundian refugees overcome the challenges that come with integrating into American society.

Clients’ Participation
Through orientation, trainings, English classes, and community events, Burundian refugees learn new skills that help them adjust to a new culture and community.  As Burundians integrate, they share their own culture, overcome obstacles, and learn new practices that help them succeed in their new home.

Resources for Burundian Refugees:

Living in the United States: Life Skills for Burundian Refugees - Volume 1 >>
Living in the United States: Life Skills for Burundian Refugees - Volume 2 >>
Living in the United States: Life Skills for Burundian Refugees - Volume 3 >>
Educational Outreach Resources >>

Read this Burundian refugee's personal account of life in a refugee camp and his struggle for survival >>

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