Project:BRIDGES is a student group that provides a framework for cross-cultural exchanges between students, refugees, and immigrants that can lead to reciprocal opportunities for education and training. After completing training, students are matched with a newcomer individual, family or group to offer assistance in areas encompassing legal, psychosocial, health, economic, linguistic issues, and/or other areas related to the practical aspects of daily life.
Project:BRIDGES’ vision is to improve the health and well-being of refugees and immigrants through connections with local communities. Their mission is to provide a framework for community connectedness through cross-cultural exchanges between students, refugees, and immigrants that will lead to reciprocal opportunities for education and training.
The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health’s Community Health Initiative piloted this new student group in the spring of 2012. Composed of students from across the University (undergraduate and graduate), the project is a newly registered official student organization.
Pairs of student volunteers commit to a two-hour visit with their newcomer partner once a week for each semester. During each visit, students will work with newcomers in developing the skills necessary for adjustment to their new home, and newcomers will help students better understand their native culture as well as their process of acculturation in Nashville.
Application – New Volunteers
Applications for NEW volunteers for Spring 2015 are due Monday, January12 at 5pm.
If you would like further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Interest Meetings
Interested in learning more but not ready to commit? Join a student interest meeting on January 8 at 5:30 pm in Sarratt 325
Project:BRIDGES New Member Orientation
Orientation will be January 14, 5-7pm. Calhoun 203
Orientation is required for new members.
Project:BRIDGES General Body Meetings
Project:BRIDGES members must attend at least 3 meetings. Meetings will be the following dates, from 6:00-7:00pm in Calhoun 103:
- Tuesday, January 27 (Mandatory for all members)
- Wednesday, February 25
- Tuesday, March 24
- Wednesday, April 15
Terms of Service
The following criteria must be met in Spring 2015 to be eligible to participate in future semesters of Project:BRIDGES:
- Feedback forms are completed on a weekly basis, regardless of whether a visit occurred.
- Visits occur on a weekly basis; if two concurrent weeks pass without a visit, students will email email@example.com with a detailed explanation and must receive approval for the missed visit(s).
- Students must attend 3 of 4 GBMs. Students should email firstname.lastname@example.org before the first GBM with any conflicts. Last-minute conflicts in schedule will not be accepted.
Download the handbook: P:B Volunteer Manual
Multilingual Resources for Students/Families:
- Refugee Health Information Network
- U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants: Health, Family Strengthening, Financial Literacy
- Health Information Translations
- Vocabulary picture guides for hotel housekeeping and other employment resources from Higher Advantage
- Genki English
- Dave’s ESL Cafe
- Teach ESL
- Adult Education ESL Teacher’s Guide
- Simply Good Eating for English Language Learners
- Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (where children can receive books via mail)
Additional Resources for Students/Families:
- Alignment Nashville’s Refugee and Immigrant Support Services Committee Resource Guide (Nashville-specific resources for refugee and immigrant families)
- Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (searchable clearinghouse of resources)
- HIAS Life Skills Resources for Pre-Literate Populations
- Series of 6 videos on Money and Banking (Belmont University, SIFE; English, Kirundi, Somali, Swahili)
- Immigrant Child Health Toolkit
Resources for Understanding Refugees:
- Refugees 101
- Tennessee Office for Refugees
- Next Door Neighbors video series
- Bhutanese Cultural Backgrounder
- Burmese Cultural Backgrounder
*Have you found any other helpful resources? Let us know at email@example.com
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org