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Women's Initiative


This service assists refugee women to be self sufficient, stable and independent. Supportive services related to referral, employment issues, crisis intervention, child rearing and the care of children, woman wellness, health issues like child immunization and breast cancer prevention shall be provided. Most refugee women (in fact the majority) are oppressed and second-class citizens in their home countries in the third world. They come from patriarchal and male dominated societies. Spousal abuse, child abuse, sexual harassment and physical abuse are common and are sometimes woven into the culture in their original homeland. Some of these problems immigrate with them in one-way or the other.

AMAAM teaches the rights of women in the United States (both constitutional rights and work place laws regarding women). Work place laws include acts related to family leave like FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), sexual harassment, the principles of equal opportunity and promotion, employee rights and the minimum wage law. AMAAM also delivers women initiative services by continuous education to equip women refugees with knowledge so that they can themselves see and address effects of continuous welfare dependency, the solutions for the physical and psychological effects of victimization.

AMAAM also refers to and provides culturally appropriate counseling by pairing modern western approach with traditional elder intervention and linkage so that the family unit will not collapse by divorce and violence sacrificing young children to street crime and hopelessness. This prevents teen pregnancy and the runaway problem for kids. By bringing western MSW'S, counselors and elders, AMAAM has previously solved serious problems facing women and children. Such a unique contribution of AMAAM has enabled refugee women to overcome cultural shock related to generational conflict between themselves and their children, domestic discourse conflict, substance abuse mainly by teens in the family, peer pressure and teen pregnancy.

The services of women initiative include:

  • Planned women meetings every 6 months in appropriate cultural setting by bringing refugee women, AMAAM women staff and women social workers, doctors, public health experts, woman right advocates, constitutional lawyers and educators together so that each will bring its own expertise and knowledge to participate in the forum for refugee self- sufficiency.
  • Monthly women meetings: A focus and brainstorming meeting for women to solve correctly existing barriers for self-sufficiency.
  • One to one contact with women staff members during office visits to identify problems that are barriers to self-sufficiency. All of the above activities include within themselves health issues, women's right, marital/family conflict, " woman wellness" issues (prevention of diseases like breast or cervical cancer), referral to marriage counselors to keep the nuclear family together, referral to appropriate agencies like attorneys and courts in case of spousal abuse, reporting child abuse and neglect to appropriate agencies or hotlines, referral to programs like WIC (women, infants and children), protection orders for women and children, assistance in clinics by assigning women interpreters concerning sensitive issues.

AMAAM has expanded its education by inviting competent American women to teach refugee women about the rights of women in the United States, the participation of women in public and private sectors including leadership in the focus group. Such education is provided at our center, 2348 Tennessee Ave.

Women initiative also includes a one to one problem solving sessions with AMAAM women staff during office visits. By coordinated planned meetings during office appointments, during interpreter assistance at clinics AMAAM women staff assist clients to become self sufficient. Such education coordination and service being culturally and linguistically appropriate respects and appreciates the participation and feedback of the refugee women. Such process is both clients- centered, all rounded and interactive.

We are providing women initiative services utilizing our experienced multi-lingual and multi-faith women staff members by individual or family appointment, meetings and by networking with other providers. There will be services related welfare dependency (how to stop welfare dependency) to the above educational approaches, by addressing cause-effect relationships. These include finding and securing employment, referring them to legal assistance, referring them to counseling centers for professional help, teaching them how to prevent victimization by crime, providing education for stability of their families, providing education on the problems of teen pregnancy and finding for them and referring them to day care centers for their children.

These educational and complementary services remove barriers of self-sufficiency of the refugee women.

  

    " AMAAM believes that refugee women from the third world are the embodiment of heroism and courage, despite the conspiring of their culture and tradition against their rights "