The Coalition for Refugees from Burma was formally organized in October 8th, 2009 following three years of coordination and assistance to help refugees from Burma survive the trauma of resettlement from a jungle war zone or detention camp to an extremely dissimilar urban culture. Refugees from Burma include Karen, Chin, Kayah, Kachin, Mon, Shan and other ethnic groups from Burma. The primary purpose is to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate humanitarian and social support services to improve the living conditions and quality of life of the refugees from Burma who are resettled in the State of Washington.
Objectives of the CRB include, but are not limited to, forming local assistance groups for the refugee communities in the Washington State and include other activities that respond to the needs of the Burmese refugee community as they have defined them. The CRB is uniquely placed to assist people from Burma to resettle in that it is formed by established Burmese communities with language and traditions that are familiar to the new arrivals thus softening the extreme culture shock.
To this end, CRB endeavors to work in coordination with other entities and other nonprofit groups, upholding similar objectives. The CRB is also well placed to help all refugees from Burma, regardless of religion or ethnicity, to transition and integrate into life in the United States because some participants of CRB have gone through the resettlement and cultural adjustment processes themselves. Having experienced the same conditions both in refugee camps and as newly resettled refugees they can provide support and mentoring to newly arrived refugees.
The CRB volunteers are made of former refugees from Burma, local Burmese community members and non-Burmese community members.