Linguistic Literacy/STEAM-H Project
- Brief Summary of program: The African Refugees in New Mexico are amongst the most linguistically and culturally marginalized, vulnerable populations. Our proposal indicates that scientific research and linguistic/literacy development programs will foster wellness and human capacity, economic development and in turn enhance community development for this marginalized population. Studies (such as The Lancet, 2012; Asonye & Rarrick, 2017) have shown that language and communication barriers, as found amongst Refugees in Albuquerque results in high prevalence of depression, anxiety, and related mental problems.
According to the 2016/17 reports of UNM Refugee Wellness Program (RWP), Africans make up more than 30% of the Refugees population that enter Albuquerque yearly, and our preliminary studies of this population shows that the average family size of Refugees from Africa is 7, among whom only one adult who may speaks a minimum of English is employed, leaving the rest to be dependent on someone else to communicate for them. Also, according to Lutheran Family Services, the Refugees resettlement agency in Albuquerque, NM, once the Refugees arrive they are placed immediately in school depending upon their ages ranging from 5-18 years old, there is no assessment of their linguistic or academic skills done to ensure a smooth transition for these students. Many of them live in very deplorable homes that predispose them to possible infectious and communicable diseases, suggesting that they do not understand the health culture of their “new home”. How can they understand when they are linguistically and culturally isolated? We propose to provide an intensive linguistic literacy/ STEAM-H program that will progress the inclusion of this population into their immediate community.
- Achieve human capacity development of the African Refugee population towards educational and community development.
- Advocate for an inclusive mutual relationship between Refugees and Immigrants and their host community by providing them with tools that will enable them to communicate on behalf of themselves.
- Introduce the African Refugees to computer technology enhancing their abilities to engage academically.
- Provide services to the Refugees from Africa through the realm of linguistic and socio-cultural literacy.
- Collaborate with existing agencies with related objectives in providing an evidence based linguistic literacy intervention program for Refugees.
- Engage the Refugee student population in other related programs relating to STEAM-H.
- To acclimate the African Refugees to English, Math and Computer technology.