UU Refugee Settlement Team & How You Can Help in Independence Phase

First a sincere thank you to the Refugee Settlement Team: Stephanie Santiago Co-Leader & Finances; Marian Joyce Co-Leader & Coordination; Karen Galiano SDL Education/Homework/PT Conferences for Pacific & Gadi; Bette Phillips-Hershey Medical/Dental Appointments & Vaccinations Escort & Advocate for Parents & 4 Kids; Carol Hawk & Walt Poyck Escort Clothing Bank/Food Bank/Bike repair; Diane Madrigal Transport/Escort & Shopper re: Household Needs & Sitter for Landlord/UGI/PPL Maintenance appointments; and George Kerekgyarto representative for Walters Trust.
(The original Refugee Welcome Team was composed of approx. 22 UUs under the leadership of Stephanie Santiago & Amos Stoltzfus in May 2022 when we welcomed a Guatemalan family who later relocated to Florida, and then the Congolese Family in August 2022.)
We are now entering the exciting Independence Phase when the family has adjusted to their new life. They experienced Winter for the first time and wore coats, socks, and layers in contrast to their 10 years in Ugandan Camp where temperatures were always HOT.

We have completed the To-Do List as provided by Church World Services before CWS transition from Ombeni Family Welcome Sponsorship:
(These tasks include but are not limited to: PA State IDs for parents, School Enrollment for Pacific and Gadi, and Parent Teacher Conferences, Homework assistance, Bank Account set-up and Online Bill Auto-pay set up, Vaccination transport, Regular Doctor Visits, Emergency Urgent Care visits, Food Hub and Grocery trips, Clothing Bank Seasonal trips for Parents and Kids, Computer Orientation & Online Grocery Ordering, New Adult Bike and later repairs from Common Wheel, Purchase of: Grocery Shopping Cart, Washer/Dryer and other equipment, Household supplies, Winter bedding and Fall/Winter clothing and coats as needed).

In October 2022, we engaged an Interpreter/Translator from Your Language Connection to ensure smooth and accurate communication, to speed up the family’s cultural understanding and computer skills, and to translate work-related documents, applications, taxes, financial documents, etc. as well as to interpret for Family Health & Medication Issues, Electric/Gas issues, Pest Control etc. This became a regular weekly appointment.

Here are the Final Steps in our Plan to set the Ombeni Family up for Success:

  1. Assistance with partial payment of Rent for House at 14 Coral Street, Lancaster ending July 2023
  2. Excel Budget Spreadsheet to show ongoing changes in Income & Expenses
  3. Trade Union Membership at Kunzler for Emmanuel & Show How to access PayStubs online
  4. Confirm ability to order online delivery Groceries/Medication in bad weather or emergency
  5. Alternative Appointment Transport via Two Local Drivers who Transport Amish People
  6. AAA Driving Lessons in-car to ensure safe driving habits and enhance skills eg. parallel park, highway and city driving etc in AAA Training Car
  7. Explain Car Insurance & get estimates for when able to afford own vehicle
  8. Explain AAA Classic Membership $65/year enabling free roadside assistance
  9. Availability of Translation/Interpretation Appointments for defined period after UUCL Exit
  10. Connect Elevantina Ombeni with local resources to assist with Literacy Skills & Show her how to ride City bus to Library
  11. Need-to-Know Differences between African and American Continents

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