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The Bhutanese Refugee Resettlement Journey part 2: On-arrival

PLANS FOR AFTER THE ORIENTATION PROGRAMME

Interviewees were asked what their plans were for after the orientation programme when they left the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre. The main plan was to learn English and then to study or find paid work. At the same time, interviewees wanted to enrol children in school and get to know their new community. Only one person had no plans.

Learn English

Twelve out of the 18 interviewed said that their priority and initial plan was to learn English:

To study language. Once we learn English then we will find work and earn our own living – that’s our target. (Adult female)

If my child is settled I will go and learn English. Without learning you can’t do anything – you have to do this first. (Adult female)

Find study or paid work

After learning English, it was common for interviewees to then say they wanted to study or find paid work:

In the short term it will be limited, but later I will get work matching my qualifications. (Middle-aged male)

Work and study – I cannot live idle, for me, for my family. (Middle-aged male)

Enrol children in school and get to know the community

Others said that their plans (usually in combination with learning English) were to:

Have no plans

Only one man said he had no plans and was relying on his children for support:

I have no plans – more likely our children will support us. But we have been told our children will be further away. This might be difficult. (Older male)