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Nancy commented on Refugee Voices Peer Network

Hi Simone Sim ! Thanks for reaching out--and to answer your question--definitely. Mixer events that foster a sense of community have been included in our planned activities.

Jessica Kirk-Bowman Kristen Aster 

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Nancy commented on Refugee Voices Peer Network

Thank you, Bremley Lyngdoh . Now that we have received our expert feedback, we are happy to respond to your questions in full. The team also looks forward to sharing the remaining final responses on Monday!

Feedback from our mentor Pav . :
1. We can increase program awareness by utilizing our existing infrastructure (e.g., our organization's website and external communications platforms).
2. For virtual mentorship and peer network interactions, we should explore tech platforms that are as universal and accessible as possible (e.g., WhatsApp).
3. Having a mentor will greatly help newcomers celebrate small victories along their journey to create new lives in a new country, which can be daunting.

Feedback from our users:
1. Users found in-person mentorship to be more effective than online mentorship, and in-person mentorship is especially beneficial for establishing initial trust.
2. This idea will be important and necessary for social integration, acquiring basic everyday knowledge, and learning more about American culture.
3. Unrealistic expectations might be common, and we need to manage these from the start. It is important to be mindful of the needs and capacity of both mentors and mentees.

Feedback from our experts Maryan Abdinur and Itika Gupta :
1. We should think through some of the more informal feedback mechanisms like a brief check-in with participants, and we should value participants' mutual definition of success.
2. Our focus should primarily be on in-person engagement, building the relationship, and--like our mentor recommended--using everyday, accessible tech platforms for virtual mentorship interactions.
3. Pairings based on shared language may seem the most logical initially, but we should also consider ways to create opportunities for all mentors and mentees to come together if there is a cohort.

Jessica Kirk-Bowman Kristen Aster 

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Nancy commented on Refugee Voices Peer Network

Thank you, Bremley Lyngdoh . After our initial mentor call with Pavel, the team has been thinking of ways to tie his feedback into our upcoming submission--most notably his suggestion about using social media to garner awareness for our program beyond the local community. We are excited to continue this conversation with him in addition to hearing expert responses to our 3 questions. We are also actively working to collect user feedback and will be sharing those findings soon!