2012 FUND: Funding Opportunity Announcement for Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program

Posted by Shofi Fida Thursday, September 29, 2011 0 comments
The Cultural Orientation (CO) Technical Assistance Program is managed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State (hereinafter referred to as the "Bureau"). The purpose of the CO Technical Assistance Program is to strengthen linkages between overseas cultural orientation programs for refugees approved for admission to the United States and reception and placement activities conducted upon their arrival.
Overseas cultural orientation is typically conducted in three to twenty hours over a period of one to five days, and addresses (at a minimum) the following subjects essential to processing, travel, and resettlement:
· Pre-Departure Processing
· Travel
· Role of the Resettlement Agency
· Rights and Responsibilities of Refugees
· Housing
· Transportation
· Employment
· Cultural Adjustment
· Education
· Health Care
· Money Management
This program serves to complement the Reception and Placement Program, the purpose of which is to promote the effective resettlement of all persons who are admitted to the United States under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, including assisting refugees to achieve economic self-sufficiency through employment as quickly as possible.

II. Program Objectives

The Bureau has established the following CO Technical Assistance Program objectives and activities for 2012:
A. To strengthen linkages between overseas CO programs and reception and placement activities:
1. Develop, maintain and manage a CO website and listserv;
2. Provide technical support to the CO working group;
3. On request, conduct presentations regarding cultural and/or community orientation at national and/or regional refugee resettlement-related conferences;
4. If requested by the Bureau, provide technical assistance to overseas and/or domestic CO programs regarding the integration of ESL training into CO curricula, as appropriate;
5. Facilitate overseas and domestic CO trainer exchanges; and
6. If requested by the Bureau, provide coordination and/or facilitation of special forums or workshops.
B. To provide information and materials to overseas CO programs and to domestic refugee service providers:
1. Compile fact sheets and other documents to be posted on the CO website;
2. Identify, locate, and distribute specific materials requested by overseas CO programs;
3. Ensure that all CO materials are available online, as possible and practicable, in accessible and flexible electronic format(s);
4. When requested, handle bulk distribution of hardcopy Bureau-produced materials to overseas CO providers and domestic reception and placement affiliates in order to supplement electronic materials;
5. Produce new translations of and updated content for the Welcome to the United States guidebooks, videos, and DVDs as directed by the Bureau;
6. Reproduce hardcopies, and maintain and store an adequate inventory of the Welcome to the United States guidebooks, videos, and DVDs as necessary to supplement electronically-available materials at the request of the Bureau, overseas CO providers, and domestic reception and placement affiliates.
C. To provide support and technical assistance to overseas CO programs on request;
D. To provide feedback to overseas CO programs as needed with input from the CO Working Group and guidance from the Bureau;
E. To provide other technical assistance requested by the Bureau, subject to availability of funds and adequate staffing levels to perform assigned tasks.

III. Eligible Applicants

The Bureau intends to award one Cooperative Agreement in FY 2012 to a well-qualified non-profit organization with the required technical expertise in cultural orientation program activities. This will include agencies that have demonstrated satisfactory performance under previous agreements with the Bureau and/or agencies that meet the selection criteria described below and have demonstrated the capacity to provide required services. Applicants should understand that receipt of prior funding for the CO Technical Assistance Program is not a pre-condition for and does not guarantee continued participation in FY 2012.
In order to be considered for participation in the program, applicants must:
A. demonstrate knowledge and experience in cultural orientation curriculum and materials development, in educational program implementation, in basic ESL curriculum and materials development, and in adult teaching and learning methodology;
B. demonstrate experience working in a refugee context or with other migrant populations in the United States; and
C. demonstrate financial stability and provide documentation of at least three full years of operation in a 501(c)(3) non-profit status.
Failure to satisfy any of the three required qualifications above will preclude further consideration for participation in the program.

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