We have been developing programs that address the specific needs of our community particularly in terms of education. We are building our curriculum to combine several elements into our approach to teaching the community; Presentations with live interpretation, Computer and technical assistance, English instruction and Citizenship classes.
In addressing the education gap that many in our community face, we rely on partnerships throughout the community to help present important information on a variety of topics to the community. These presentations are made in english, by experts and professionals in their respective fields, and are translated concurrently to community members. The goal is to begin bridging the divide in education, expectations and access to all the important services and knowledge needed to live healthy and happy lives here in MIlwaukee and beyond.
We started 2019 off by launching our computer and technical assistance program alongside our expanded ESL programs. Computer literacy and English illiteracy go hand-in-hand among recently resettled refugees, especially for adults. To begin to address these trends, we began purchasing and receiving donated computers, we make sure they are fully functional, install high quality ESL courseware and teach families how to operate them. We have also been working on building out a language lab at our office.
Our ESL programs incorporate 1-1 and small group tutoring, that focuses on grammar, pronunciation and life skills for our classrooms sessions. We are currently exploring ways to expand our ESL programs to include volunteer tutors,
We are proud to announce our partnership with Dynamic Education (DynEd), who’s flagship English software will allow our ESL program to grow to new levels. We have experience using, administering and deploying this this powerful software which allows us to assess a student’s progress, certify their English language levels and customize each individual’s unique pathway to learning. The data driven software uses a multi-modal approach that is comprehensive, fluid and gamified in its design.
The courses can facilitate any level of English language learner and can be used on iPhone/Android, PC/Mac devices to complete courses. We are deploying this product using a work-from-home, family-centric model that will provide access of quality ESL courseware to a much larger segment of the community all while also offering access to the courseware and extension activities at our office.
Founding partners Anuwar Kasim and Hamid Musa Ali have been providing interpretation and translation services for over a decade. This trend has continued since their arrival in Milwaukee in 2015 and 2016 where both men became certified medical interpreters. They provide a variety of interpretation services to Burmese and Rohingya resettled refugee community here in Milwaukee. including; applications, appointments and other bureaucratic work, correspondence and other day-to-day needs. Since the founding of our organization, we are actively seeking to build relationships with other qualified interpreters as their is still, and likely will be, a great need for their services for some time to come.
We accept many kinds of donations including culturally appropriate food, household items, school supplies, office supplies, clothing, winter gear and even furniture. We actively distribute any donations we receive.
Our community leaders are very active in the community especially during holidays and religious events. These events typically see food distributed throughout the community and communal gatherings and a very important part of our community’s activities.
During the month of Ramadan, 2018, we were able to partner with ICNA Chicago and received over 2500 lbs of culturally appropriate food and other goods which were distributed to over 75 families in need. ICNA also donated 112 backpacks for the new school year.
Home Health Care Services
BRCW is committed to providing needed services to the Burmese and Rohingya families in Milwaukee. We understand the importance of having access to quality healthcare as well as the importance of educating our community. As many of our community members have been denied access to modern healthcare systems, it creates a situation whereby our community has a lot of ground to make up in terms of how they approach healthcare here in the States.
During our formation we began working towards creating a Burmese Home Healthcare organization, and made it to the license application process. Since then, we have chosen to prioritize our programs and devoted our resources to forward educational, developmental and community organizing efforts. We may return to our work building a healthcare agency in the future.