April 5, 2013
SunCoast Region Communications Director
The Tampa Bay Burmese Council Hosts
Burmese Festival to Celebrate and Educate on Saturday April 6
TAMPA— The Tampa Bay Burmese Council will host both a cultural New Year celebration and health fair for Burmese refugees in the Tampa area on Saturday April 6. Partnering with University of South Florida's Health Service Corps, there will be health screenings and health information tables for adults and fun fitness and safety activities for children.
Stories about the difficulties and adjustments refugees have when resettling flood our office. A Burmese refugee recently settled in Tampa, and shortly afterward her husband of 25 years was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away. Imagine dealing with the tremendous grief and loss, all while trying to navigate a system that you do not understand, with funeral customs that differ from those in your culture and complicated paperwork to complete for agencies like Social Security. Thankfully, there is now resource for refugees from Burma and other countries who need help with this and many other issues.
The Tampa Bay Burmese Council was formed by refugees for refugees to help them adjust to life in the U.S. In the case described above, the Council staff and volunteers were there to help the widow make appropriate funeral arrangements, complete the necessary paperwork and support her through this difficult time.
In Florida, more than 27,000 refugees are resettled each year. The Department of Children and Families Refugee Services program is funded by the federal government to coordinate and oversee many of the services provided to refugees who settle in Florida. These services, including education, legal assistance, employment programs, and youth and family programs, serve some 6,500 refugees in the Tampa area each year.
For more information please contact Council President Christy Sui at 813.440.8542.
WHO: Tampa Bay Burmese Council
WHAT: First Annual Burmese Festival
WHEN: Saturday April 6 from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: 5308 Mission Hills Avenue Temple Terrace, FL 33617 (813) 443-0567