Burmese American Community Institute joins Ukrainian hosting support efforts – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather forecast
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Ukrainian families have already started traveling to Indiana, as humanitarian parolees. It’s a program of the US Department of Health and Human Services, part of which provides things like relocation assistance and medical support. Local advocacy groups say they are there and ready to help.
The Burmese American Community Institute again supports new refugees. Ready to provide integration services to newcomers as they try to adapt.
Ukraine and Russia remain in an intense battle as many Ukrainian citizens move to the United States as humanitarian parolees.
“It’s a very difficult process to integrate into a new culture. Way of life in a new system,” said Lian Thwang Hnin of the Center for Community Integration and Development.
Although far outnumbered by Afghans, the first Ukrainians began arriving in Indiana a few months ago.
“I also got help from people who had more experience before me, so it’s a fulfilling feeling,” said Thwang Hnin.
The Burmese American Community Institute is one of the agencies working to welcome newcomers while working to broaden the reach to find Ukrainians here who don’t know where to get help.
“We want to make sure our clients have everything they need so they can include everything they need from appropriate medical appointments to health care, dental appointments and cultural transition” said Alecia Binhack, director of Ukraine’s humanitarian parole program.
Binhack has worked with BACI through its Afghan Support Program and will use this training to support new neighbors.
“This has profound global, geopolitical and local implications,” said BACI Executive Director Elaisa Vahnie.
Vahnie says unrest response work is nothing new. Many members of Indy’s hardy Burmese community arrived under similar circumstances. So the question of why do they help is simple. It is imperative.
“It’s not just between Ukraine and Russia. But it’s between autocracy and democracy,” Vahnie said.
Burmese leaders say that while there is support for Ukrainians and Afghans, it is important to remember that there is still unrest in Burma, with people still hoping to find refuge in the United States.