Through years of outreach, Selah has earned the trust of the immigrant community. With feedback from both recipients and volunteers, evaluation is an integral part of our work process and an essential tool to help refine our outreach. We measure our success in several ways: by the recipient immigrants’ ability to cope with their new reality; by their own perception that they are better able to cope; and by their feeling that they have a shoulder to lean on.
The most critical questions we ask ourselves are – are we there for the immigrant in crisis in real time, and have we given real help?
We review our records of individual care, allowing us to assess both the impact of Selah outreach on each individual, as well as the geographical distribution of our resources. We also evaluate our work at the conclusion of each peer support group and retreat. Professionals and volunteers meet for debriefings and later review written forms filled out by participants. Through these evaluations, we have seen how significantly the support groups and retreats bolster the participants’ resolve and encourage them to build peer networks within the groups. Selah support groups and retreats enable them to share the pain which they cannot share elsewhere, and most importantly, establish new and increased resources for coping – from within and without.