BSWM hosted two educational events on the Veterans Day weekend. On Saturday, October 11, 2017, Harvard School of Public Health’s Research Program on Children and Global Adversity (RPCGA)’s Family Strengthening outreach event was successfully organized in Springfield, MA from 11 am to 1 pm.
The research team members including Dr. Theresa Betancourt, Principal Investigator, Jenna Berent, Project Manager, Bhuwan Gautam, Co-investigator, Taran Tiwari, Research Assistant, Prasad Dulal, Family Strengthening Interventionist, Kevin Darjee, Family Strengthening Interventionist, Suruchi Khand, Harvard MPH intern and 50 community members were present.
Narad Adhikari, Research Assistant from Harvard School of Public Health’s another project ‘Bhalakushari’ was also present.
According to Mr. Adhikari, Bhalakushari project studies the refugees age 50 and over about their life experiences from Bhutan to Nepal to the United States.
Mr. Gautam welcomed the participants and the team members and spoke about the history of the program.
He stated that the partnership between the community and research institution has become an important area in addressing the health and mental health of the Bhutanese community through the community based participatory research and intervention methods.
Dr. Betancourt provided the updates about programmatic overview, goals and achievements. Jenna shared the timeline and RAs and FSIs shared their roles on the project.
According to Dr. Betancourt, they are studying among the Somali Bantu population in Boston and Bhutanese population age 7-17 years in Western Massachusetts.The study hopes to bring more intervention among the resettled refugee communities to improve communication and parenting skills among the children and parents. Dr. Betancourt stated that the community advisory board, both the adult and youth play a vital role in advising the research team, which includes the voice from the community members on the various phases of the research to make sure that the outcome of the study is beneficial to the community.
Mr. Tiwari spoke about his role in recruitment and assessment. Similarly, Mr. Darjee and Mr. Dulal spoke about their roles as interventionists.
The participants were fully engaged in the question and answer session. Light refreshment was served during the lunch time. A FAQ document translated into Nepali was shared among the attendees.
Similarly, another information session was organized on Sunday related to reported burglaries, assaults, theft and other crimes.
The representatives from Springfield Police Department Sgt. Ariel J. Toledo and Magda Rodriguez answered questions from the community members.
The questions were taken from the participants as well as facebook live.
According to Sgt. Toledo, for all emergencies, including reporting burglaries, domestic violence, and any other forms of crimes, 9-11 can be dialed.
However, for non-emergency issues can be reported by calling the numbers listed for each city. For Springfield, non-emergency number is 797-6302.
The police encouraged the community members to report any forms of crime by contacting police department without waiting.
For greater community involvement with the law enforcement officers, community members can attend community policing meetings in their areas. The calendar is available at Good neighbor handbook.
The flyer for C3 Park police unit with contact information, the Good neighbor handbook and a souvenir containing a compass, light and police contact information were distributed among the participants.
The detail conversation is recorded and published on BSWM’s facebook page www.facebook.com/bswmusa.