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Refugee Women’s Network has been supporting refugee women and immigrant families in Georgia for 25 years. It’s the only organization of its kind in Georgia. We sat down with Temple Moore, Program Manager of Community Health Promotion at Refugee Women’s Network to hear a little bit about what they’ve been doing for the RIM communities in their area.
Refugee Women’s Network covers a range of basic needs, including employment, education, and healthcare to name a few. Moore explained that they focus primarily on women because they found that “in the resettlement process, a lot of services, including employment and mental health services, were primarily given to the men.”
Moore explained that “the women are the bridge to community. They are the brokers of health for their families and therefore their communities, so by uplifting women, [they] are able to uplift the whole family and improve quality of life for the immigrant and refugee communities in Georgia.”
Refugee Women’s Network offers a variety of services, one of them being COVID education and vaccination. Moore emphasized building trust and being culturally responsive when going about COVID. Vaccine hesitancy is something they are very considerate of. “We want to make sure we are putting the community’s dignity at the center. Rather than making assumptions about why they would or would not take a vaccine, we try to understand their perspective and give time so that with the right education and the right information, every woman and every family is going to make the right health decisions for themselves and their family.” However, vaccine hesitancy goes beyond COVID. “Looking at it from a long-term strategy, if we can help people understand how vaccination works for COVID, they may be more likely to get the flu vaccine, the HPV vaccine,” explained Moore. “It translates to preventative care overall.”
Refugee Women’s Network hires trusted messengers from within the community to not only relay information to the communities at hand, but also help the organization truly understand the communities they are working with.
“We’ve been able to put funds directly into the people that make the difference,” said Moore.
These trusted messengers have already established relationships with community members which makes it easier to reach the people they need to reach.
Refugee Women’s Network offers an incredible number of services to enhance the life of refugee families in Georgia. To learn more about their work, visit their website here.