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The Center for Refugee Services in Texas has been home to many refugees mainly because the center is located at the border, thus making it easily accessible to many people. Most of the refugees who have settled in this country were from the neighboring communities. The Centre for Refugee Services in Texas was established as a rescue centre for those victims and survivors of human smuggling and trafficking.
Most of the refugees have had this as an option for their safety and home due to the quality services and compassionate care offered by the organization. The victims located in this country were mostly fatalities of human trafficking. Women, together with their children, were the most affected by the broad category of sex trafficking. The victims could be transported to foreign countries where they could be forced to get involved in prostitution or pornographic materials.
The representatives of the center take it as their responsibility to provide all those who have run unto them for rescue, with the basic things, such as food, clothing, and shelter so as to help them carry on well with their lives in the camp. They also offer the health services. It is worth stressing that the centre also tries to help those who have come to the camp without their family members to reunite by taking them to their homes or using various mechanisms to help the victims gain a sense of life once again.
The organization also serves those who have come in fear of being taken in as workers for industries that require cheap labor for their companies. These workers, who had migrated into the foreign countries, were subject to a lot of inhumane activities. Some were forced to be fishermen, house constructors; the others were forced to work in the company as casual workers. The most hurting part of these migrations was that the workers were not paid at all, and if the employers were kind enough to pay, the wages accorded could be less or underpaid. The employers could also mistreat them by subjecting them to hard and excessive workloads where they were not offered vacations. Neither did the employers consider them whenever they fell sick and their bodies became weak. As a result, most people died in the foreign country. This factor made many to fear seeking jobs regardless of their high poverty levels. Some of the people at the refugee camp were victims and survivors of forced labor. Men, women, and children were involved in the poor and underpaying employments; though, some got to be rescued by the Center for Refugees Services in Texas. This organization has served more than 250,000 refugees.
The Centre for Refugees Services in Texas is one of the non-governmental and non-profit organizations. The non-profit organization was formed in 2003, when the central Texas coalition against human trafficking was established. The coalition was between social services organizations, a vigilant law enforcement union, and three minor associations. The Central Texas coalition was formed with the main objective to save those victims who were at higher risk of being captured as casual, domestic or sex workers in foreign countries. The organization also aimed at saving those who had been trapped in other countries without having any say towards the mistreatments accorded unto them. Being one of the social services involved in the coalition, it receives some powers and errands (Busch, 2007). It was awarded the responsibilities of providing direct services to the victims who came to the camp for help. The social services assigned unto this organization were offering health services to the victims as well as resettlement of the refugees who had migrated from their home countries. The association was also expected to offer recovery services to those people who had been sexually abused and those who had been employed as domestic workers but were brutality treated by their employees. The Refugee Centre was promised to be receiving some funds from the Office for Victims of Crimes during the coalition.
The center provides facilities that help in the transportation of the victims to the hospital when necessary. In most cases, this offer is prearranged during times when the victims have an appointment in the hospital or when the organization is taking them back to their homes to reunite with the family members.
In addition, the organization ensures that the victims receive competent training on simple courses and advises them on how to develop their careers once they go home from the centre so as to be successful people in life. The victims are allowed to go home after the term of 6 months. This only happens after the victims are able to reunite with their family members. The organization also ensures that the victims when leaving the cam have recovered from any infirmity that they might have been suffering from. The center also ensures that the refugees are offered guidance whenever they need. By doing so, the workers of the center are able to help the refugees to recover from the distress and ill feelings of facing the outside world (Clawson, 2006).
During the period of the six months, the organization ensures that it has fully supervised the victims’ case. Mostly, the supervision involves trying to find out the extent and the dangers that the trafficking process has posed on the life of these people and their relatives and whether they are ready to have the sufferer back in their homestead. The organization is capable of coping with its work through the help of other local service providers.
The refugee centre aims at having all those human beings, who have been trapped by forced labor and mistreated by their employers, set free and allows going back to their family members. It is also aimed at achieving a community that is free from human trafficking and smuggling. The main mission is to help people understand the impact that forced labor and human trafficking cause in the people’s lives, and thus to encourage the world to fight against the uncouth practices (Chin, 2002).
The organization staff is very devoted and accommodating. I have noted that the team is dedicated and aims at giving the best to the clients. As a result, all members of the center prove to be the best people to offer these services to the refugees. The staff includes six members who carry out their work responsibilities in the full time epoch. There are other four work mates who work as part time employees. The other three are social workers who are either student, who are under practice, for what they have been taught in class as part of their class work or volunteers from the neighboring community. The community volunteers offer interpretation services, alongside there are other interpreters who are contracted to enhance communication amongst those victims who are not familiar with: Portuguese, French, Burmese, Russian, Karen, Arabic, Spanish, Kiswahili, Kirundi, Nepali, and Mandarin. The staff working for the center are only qualified in the above languages.
During my internship period, I collaborated with the refugee centre staff members, who highly added value to my life and helped a lot to have better indulgent view of what I had been doing in class as the theory part of social services course. One of these work mates that I closely worked with was the welcome volunteer. It was the person responsible for organizing the relocation process that was offered by the refugee centre to any person coming for help. It is worth noting that the relocation process involves: offering basic needs to the refugees who have recently arrived in the camp. This member of the center was supposed to make proper arrangements on how the refugees could receive the training services and on how the victims who needed to visit medical facilities either for a clinic appointment or any other need could be transported. His work schedule was based between 8.30 in the morning to 5 pm every day from Monday to Friday. Actually, he was the driver and we worked with him to ensure that the refugees received quality health services.
I also worked closely with one of the interpreters who used to help me with the languages that I was not very good at. He was responsible for ensuring that there existed a good flow of communication amongst the staff and the clients. His qualifications were based on his proficiency in English and other languages. He was expected to be available most of the time so as to help those who were unfamiliar with the foreign language being used either amongst the refugees or by the staff members when addressing them. His main role was to ensure that the refugees were not exposed to any communication barriers that could result in misunderstandings amongst themselves. His job was actually based on what the community desired from him i.e. what language the refugees would need an interpreter. He was one of the team members who were highly needed in the camp, thus he used to work full time in most cases. Sometimes he went on leave and I was supposed to perform all duties instead of him.
The other work mate who was closely related to me was the cultural guide volunteer. His timeframe was flexible. It means that he was only at work when there was an urgent need of his services. He was responsible for ensuring all clients familiar with the centre premises by organizing some tour guide trips to the local library, recreational area, or grocery stores. He was also responsible for ensuring that the clients were good at writing resumes.
During my internship period, I was accorded the roles of ensuring that the sick refugees were taken to hospital and that they received the best services. In most cases, I could accompany the ailing clients to the hospitals so as to help interpret the doctor what they said since some our clients were not good at English. It was one way of ensuring that the clients were able to express themselves so as to receive the right medications for their illness.
I was also expected to go round the camp, checking how the refugees were fairing. I was supposed to interview them on the services they received while collecting data on the problems affecting their stay in the refugee camp. Moreover, I was responsible for investigating where the clients were from and whether any of their family members were alive and ready to accommodate them. In cases where I managed to reach any relative to one of our clients, I would plan how the two would reunite by taking the refugee to his or her relatives’ house. Besides, I was expected to ensure that all the refugees in the camp received food-stamps.
My work also involved contacting other refugee camps so as to acquire information on the techniques they applied when trying to help their refugees. Through these, the center was able to upgrade its performance and quality of services offered to its clients. I would also contact other non-profit organization on the issue of donation. I would request them to donate as much as they could to the center so as to help it to be run smoothly and accordingly.
During the World Refugees Day, I tried to organize how the clients together with the staffs in the centre would enjoy and celebrate the day. I would also ask for assistance from the entire community by distributing leaflets to some of the big supplies and restaurants, which would, in turn, donate food among other thing to the centre. I was also involved in selling T-shirts in the streets so as to raise funds that would help the centre hold a celebration on that big day. Through this, the organization was capable of reassuring the clients that there were other people in other places who were in the same condition, thus helping them not to feel discriminated upon. The day also helped to reassure them that there was a bright future ahead of them despite the much tragedy that they had gone through. I was also among the group of those who had been appointed to teach English and Arabic to the refugees and also to their family members. The stores were under my supervision as well. For this reason, my schedule was tight since I had to spend most of the time in the refugee centre.
During my internship period, I received sad news about my cousin infirmity. My cousin was suffering from a cancerous disease and he felt so lonely. He requested me to go and stay with him so as to keep him company. I was forced to leave my work at the center to go take care of my cousin. Due to his prolonged illness, I stayed with him for three weeks and later went back to my vocation premises.
During my internship period, I experienced very tormenting moments. I clearly remember the day when a young woman approached me in the streets in tears and explained to me about her condition. The woman had been taken to the neighboring country as a sex object. She was very annoyed by the treatment she had been subjected by her master. She explained that whenever she refused to comply with his master’s command, she would be beaten and forced to sleep with him before being handed over to the other client who had asked to have sex with her. The lady explained that she had acquired the HIV/ AIDS virus since the men who used her refused to use protective measures like condoms. She also told me that she had managed to be pregnant three times and her boss had forced her to abort, and above all, he had used the traditional methods to remove the fetus. The lady had been subjected to a lot of pain and excessive bleeding, whereby at times, she had even thought that she would die. The lady told me that she had noted that she was pregnant again and the boss had demanded to have the child she was carrying terminated. She refused and ended up being physically abused. This woman managed to sneak out of the house and spent hours running. She had no destination and when she saw me she decided to seek for help. I took her to the camp and helped her to acquire shelter, the next day, I took her to the hospital since she had some injuries on the head and was suffering from stomach ache. In some weeks, she was well and continued to live in the camp. At other times, I could witness the death of some of the refugees. Such moments and memories affected me very deeply. To tell the truth, I could never forget these moments.
At times, the clients were not supportive. It was very hard to acquire information from the clients about themselves, their family members, and where they had come from before joining the camp, since some thought that you had intention of taking them back to where they came from.
As I have already mentioned, the refugee centre is a non-profit organization, and as a result, it depends upon funds and the donations offered by the community at large or other organizations. At times, when the donation would be very minimal, the staff members and the center faced the financial crisis.
Sometimes, when the staff members were not fluent in the language the client used, they would become confused and would end up not assisting the client as per his/ her expectations due to communication barrier.
Some clients were very rude and brutal. This was one of the tactics they had learned from their bosses or among the tactics they applied when fighting for their rights during their stay at the foreign land. At times, they would become very violent when I went to interrogate them. I remember one of them slapped me when I went to ask him about his relatives.
During my internship in the Center for Refugee Services, I applied a lot of knowledge that I had learned in my MPA courses. I applied my budgeting skills in planning of operations by urging my partners to consider how the conditions normally change and the steps that should be taken to encourage others how to consider problems before they actually arise. The organization’s activities were coordinated by compelling the stakeholders in examining the existing relationships between their private operations and the ones owned by other departments.
The knowledge that I acquired from my MPA course allowed me to control the resources that were provided to me by the Center for Refugee Services. Using the same skills, I would communicate comfortably the plans of the center. The MPA course has awarded me the motivation that I would employ in striving for the achievement of the budget goals. The budgeting lesson equipped me perfectly with the enough knowledge that I would apply in the evaluation of the performance of various refugees that I taught English. Therefore, I had to evaluate their performance frequently to check their progress in the learning of the new language (English) since most were Arabs who did not know how to express themselves using English.
Since the Center for Refugee Services was occupied by elders as well, I had to apply budgeting skills in the allocation of funds that I had been advised to spend on buying their learning equipment. The elders needed more learning materials than the young individuals. Therefore, I had to apply my budgeting skills wisely during my calculations for the purchase of these items. Using my knowledge that I had acquired in budgeting, I was in a position to compile the budget of the Center for Refugee Services during my internship. I was supposed to deliver actual figures that came close to the budget. This reflected that the manager of the Center for Refugee Services understood his work clearly and drove it towards the intended direction successfully.
During my MPA courses, I took the public policy lessons that equipped me with enough knowledge concerning that field. The Center for Refugee Services follows it set policies as it allocates its resources. The knowledge that I acquired from the public policy assisted me in teaching the refugees that the public policy would be defined as a system of regulatory measures, funding priorities, law and courses of action concerning a particular topic promulgated by the Center for Refugee Services or its representatives.
Through my knowledge that I had acquired in my public policy classes, I realized that the Center for Refugee Services took a great role in shaping the public policy through considering mobilization, advocacy, and education of this group. My reasoning in relation to the public policy knowledge assisted me in understanding that a principle aspect of the public policy is the law. Generally, the law includes particular legislation as well as broadly defined international and constitutional provisions. There are a number of ways that the law may affect how the supervisors of violence against the elders as well as the children are treated and the types of various services that they receive. Similarly, legislation identifies regions in which research grants are funded. It officially determines the amount of funding that is normally allocated. Therefore, my knowledge of the public policy assists in realizing that the public policy debates generally occur over the proposed funding and legislation. The skills that I have learnt in the public policy made me realize that the advocacy is seen unseemly by some professionals. It is, therefore, clear that the public policies priorities are affected by the advocacy.
The MPA course was fair enough to provide me with enough knowledge about the non-profit organization. I applied the understanding of this topic in my whole term of the internship. I understood perfectly that the organization that I was working for was a non-profit one, and therefore, I expected less material gain. Through my knowledge concerning the non-profit organizations, I needed no explanation about the level of the Center for Refugee Services as a non-profit organization. With my good knowledge of the non-profit organization, I would take my time in advising various stakeholders that the Center for Refugee Services needed to take care of the wealth that they often got from different donors. For this reason, I had to let them know how their initiatives and programs were performing and the admirable ways that they would employ to accomplish their goals. Through my advice, they decided to use an outcome framework that they considered in setting the goals. It would also measure the progress of the Center for Refugee Services and determine the progress towards their achievement.
According to my acquired knowledge of this topic, the refugees in the Center for Refugee Services are not supposed to pay anything. All the services that are offered to the Center for Refugee Services are done without any pay. I confirmed that the refugees received a lot of benefits without spending any coin. They were well-taken care of without any consideration of compensation by the service givers. Every person working in the Center for Refugee Services seemed to understand the concept of the non-profit organization wholly. As per knowledge from my MPA course, I did not manage to get any single person going against my understanding of the topic. I never confirmed any mistreatment or any form of abuse. The older people were also perfectly taken care of. In fact, I did not note any elder abuse in the Center for Refugee Services. In my MPA course, I got the whole concept that I needed about the conflict resolution. This assisted greatly during my intern in the Center for Refugee Services. At times, there emerged conflicts, I tried to use my obtained during the conflict resolution lessons. As a result, I managed to resolve them either successfully or with some minor complications. I would normally apply my tact from the topic by actively communicating the needed information about their ideologies and conflicting motives to the rest of the group in the Center for Refugee Services. Collective negotiation is also a factor that I used to apply in solving most of the conflicts that appeared in the Center for Refugee Services. I would take my time to listen to both sides of the affected before taking any measurement. Then, I would engage myself into a negotiation that always resulted into settling the dispute between the affected. I made it clear that negotiation would initiate a convincing dialogue between the refugees to bring an understanding that would resolve the point of difference. To compromise the situation perfectly, social workers, legislators, as well as other specialists should be involved in the negotiations to make the refugees understand the concept in a clear manner. For sure, the Center for Refugee Services should apply the structural and dynamic processes of mediation. In order to resolve the conflicts that existed in the Center for Refugee Services, I urged the refugees to develop an increased understanding of one another. It would give them an insight on how they can achieve their goals without undermining those of others. I also urged various leaders from these groups to encourage their followers in embracing group cohesion. Automatically, it would produce strong mutual respect and renewed faith in their ability to carry out their activities together.
I also applied the art and practice of diplomacy to serve as a tool for resolution. I also considered the conduct of the relations that I applied through intercession of professional diplomats with regard to the issue of peace making. The MPA course also directed me towards peace building as a weapon of conflict resolving. Through peace building, the conflict between the refugees was transformed, thus resolving the conflict. At different intervals, I would take the role of a leader and put enough effort to cope with the differences that emerged between the refugees.
During my MPA courses, I took my time to study ethics, a topic that has made me achieve an excellent aspect in my life. During my internship in the Center for Refugee Services, I performed my works in relation to ethics in a perfect way. In the Center for Refugee Services, the ethics are a great factor that has led to the success of this organization. During the internship, I used some of my time to advise the management personnel on the ethical issues. I tried to convince them to realize that their ethical behavior determined the behavior of the refugees in the Center for Refugee Services since they would take them as their role models.
I took enough time during my internship to educate the refugees on the importance of ethics. I made every refugee aware of the organization’s specific ethics that should be considered. For those who appeared to ignore the ethics of the Center for Refugee Services, I sacrificed some of my precious time in convincing them that they were not moving in the same direction and that were supposed to change. In fact, I had developed a tendency of trying my best to enquire whether there was any unethical behavior in the organization. If I realized any, I would immediately confront the person or the people involved so as to change them for good. I also made them understand the type of ethics that should be avoided at all cost. Some were prone to other people, and it was, therefore, hard to avoid them. I would give an understanding to this kind of ethics, and thus take the minimum amount of time in correcting that. Nevertheless, there were extreme unethical things that some refugees involved themselves in, and it had to be treated as criminal offences. In this case, I would not take the situation on my hands but had to report about the matter to my boss in order to forward the case to the police. I would admit that my MPA course provided me with enough knowledge that allowed me to always remind the employees of the set ethical rules of the Center for Refugee Services, as well as how important it is to follow them.
The MPA course made my educational level have a positive turn by equipping me with enough knowledge concerning planning, a function that I highly applied in my daily activities during my internship in the Center for Refugee Services. During my lessons on this particular topic, the lecturer argued that planning provided direction. It gave a clear and logical direction towards the activities of the Center of the Refugee Services, especially to the work behavior of the managers and others. Planning of my time and activities boosted my morale during my internship in that region. Moreover, it gives a clear sense of the direction of the job behavior of the employees in the organization. For these reason, I found it wise to take my time and teach the refugees on the importance of planning their activities. Some found it hard to plan their time as well as their daily activities, but I offered to assist them until the end. This strengthened their confidence to understand where the Center for Refugee services was headed to and what its destiny was. I transferred my understanding of how best they would make the center along a choose path to every refugee who was interested in. I made them realize that it would be rather easily to make their dream come true through consideration of the above factor.
I urged them that planning had the power to provide an opportunity that analyzes alternative action courses. If the Center for Refugee Services managers have an enhanced knowledge of the possible effects in future about the alternative courses of action, for taking any action, they would have a chance of exercising judgment, thus proceeding cautiously so as to choose the most favorable and feasible course of action (Watkins, 1999). There were a good number of refugees who never bothered to consider the planning factor. In this case, I made special trips to their living rooms explained them how planning reduced uncertainties, minimized arbitrary and impulsive decisions, and assisted in resource allocation among many other advantages. Through the reduction of the uncertainties, I made sure that I educated the refugees to be shaking off their insular and inertia outlook. This would induce them to see beyond their noses, beyond now and tomorrow, as well as beyond the immediate concerns. Therefore, planning encourages them to cut through uncertainties and complexities of the environment so as to gain control over various elements of change.
During my planning lessons, the lecturer emphasized that planning implies ad hoc actions. Therefore, I had to apply this knowledge to my refugees by convincing them that planning obviates exclusive dependence, especially on the mercies of chance element and luck. I assured them that if they chose to plan their activities well, it would minimize the probability of the occurrence of the principle failures and errors in managerial actions. I urged them that planning would inject a measure of discipline in the organizational action as well as the managerial thinking. As a result, the refugees would have increased flexibility and freedom within well-defined limits.
Basically, using my own analysis and the knowledge from my MPA course on this particular unit, I observed that planning is a prime managerial factor that provides the basis for the entire Center for Refugees Services managerial functions. The organization’s structure of authority and task roles are based taking into consideration planning priorities. It was due to the fact that the functions of leadership, motivation, and supervision were generally addressed towards the implementation of the plans as well as the achievement of the Center for Refugee Services objectives. In fact, the managerial control of the Center for Refugee Services would be meaningless if the managerial planning was not applied. I, therefore, advised all the stakeholders of the Center for Refugee Services that planning was the key function and that all the other functions were designed around it.
My MPA course changed my life for good by allowing me to develop as a leader. The lessons concerning leadership urged me to have a big heart that would accommodate every person regardless of his or her character. It is a value that enjoyed applying during my internship in the Centre for Refugee Services. I had to pass this knowledge to all the refugees that I met during my internship. I boosted their morale in learning the English language by urging them that a good leader had to have good communication skills. Therefore, in order for them to be good leaders, they had to learn English and be perfect in speaking it. I also made it clear that for them to acquire good leadership they had to have a forgiving heart. It meant that if one happened to be offended by the other, he or she was supposed to forgive and forget (Uhl-Bien, 2007). I also advised the refugees that for one to be treated as a leader, he / she had to have a lot of influence. He / she should be the type of a person who knows how to speak to people convincing them to follow a specific direction. It is one of the factors that are mostly considered when finding a good leader (Kelly, 2006). This is because if a person is not in a position to demonstrate his / her views through nice and effective speaking, then he or she does not fit to lead the other people. Therefore, I had to convince the refugees that for them to be trusted as an able leader by their colleagues, they had to be proficient in their languages as well as the new language that I was teaching them. This made them work harder in learning the English language since most were interested in becoming leaders. As a result, I had work easily when teaching them since they enjoyed my lessons.
I also made them understand that a wise leader had to have an effective approach and appreciation towards the corporate responsibility. It makes the need to have profit to be balanced with the wider environmental and social responsibilities. I always reminded them that they had to be grown-up. They were not supposed to become emotionally negative with others. This meant that they were not supposed to be shouting or ranting to others, even if they felt very angry or upset. I applied the knowledge that I had acquired in my leadership lessons in teaching them different ways that they should use in solving the differences as leaders.
If one was ready to stand as a leader, he or she had to be an example. I advised them that they had to appreciate being seen to be working more determinedly and harder than anyone else. They also had to be observed handling various cases in a fair manner. They had to treat other people accordingly, taking into account positive and negative factors or characteristics. . Good leaders should also consider being firm and clear when dealing with unethical or bad cases.
The refugees in the center had to keep the need of their fellow refugees first of at all if they were interested in becoming good leaders. I advised them that they had to sacrifice for the benefits of other people if they were ready to be given that title. Putting the needs of other people should be a key factor that various individuals should consider to term themselves as leaders effectively. Courage is also another factor that a leader should have. Therefore, I took some days in advising the refugees in the Center for Refugee Services on the relationship between courage and leadership. I had to make them understand being courageous was a significant leadership quality. I tried to be honest with my clients and expected the same from them. A person who is truthful and righteous in his / her way would make an excellent leader, especially if he / she has all the other qualities that are required to be a leader. These qualities include: commitment, wisdom, sincerity, confidence, integrity, positivity, compassionate, sensitivity, determination, and being humble.
During the internship period, I was able to learn management techniques as I could control the inflow and out flow of foodstuffs in the stores. I would also organize on how the sick clients could visit the doctors. This period also helped me to learn how to relate and understand people better. This is because I learned that people are different and every person has a different personality. That is why everyone needs to be treated differently.
It is worth stressing that this centre and its members serve a very huge number of people, yet they do their best to ensure that they receive all their basic needs not caring that they are not paid for their services. I was able to learn that each person should not do good only to those people who will pay ,but rather the good should be done to all since a person never knows whether he / she will need that certain person once in his / her lifetime.
I also learnt that, for any organization to prosper, there should be good associations and relations with its community members. The Centre for Refugees in Texas has some of its neighboring community members coming to offer voluntary services despite the fact that they are not paid. It is a clear indication that the organization has won the public trust and explained its main roles to the community. Its services are always appreciated as the refugees are helped to live better and find their lost way in their lives, which are of the greatest importance.
Through the challenges that I went through, I learnt that the live is all round, and anything can happen at any time. Thus, we should always save for the future to avoid being caught up in a mess. In the camp, we had some of the refugees who told me that they were very rich, they even had their own cars and businesses but after they had become victims of human trafficking they had lost all their wealth, and they were actually finding it hard to adjust to their new lives. People should learn to be adjustable so as to have a very cool time and fit when they find themselves in the places where the living conditions are lower than in their homes. The organization has helped me to acquire work experience that I will need in the future. It has also empowered and helped me to acquire the self-assurance needed when working as a social worker.
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