Kahani is an online educational tool for non-English speaking refugees and volunteer ESL tutors.

 

Project Background

For my senior capstone project at Carnegie Mellon in 2014, I worked on a team with Sun Park and Cristina Shin to investigate how design can help refugees integrate into their host society.

Pittsburgh has a growing population of over 4,000 resettled ethnic Nepali refugees from Bhutan, so for this project we worked closely with members of FORGE, a tutoring and mentoring program that pairs student volunteers with refugee families.

 

contributions

My main contributions were conducting and synthesizing research, problem framing, ideation, and translating research into actionable insights for the design concept. Additionally, I was responsible for communicating the project to different audiences for pitches, presentations, and final documentation.

 

Research Methods

 

Interview with a Caseworker

From literature reviews and interviewing a resettlement agency caseworker, we learned about the connection between refugee integration and community isolation faced by the growing Bhutanese refugee population in Pittsburgh.

 

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Shadowing and interviews with Tutors

We worked closely with members of FORGE, a tutoring and mentoring program that pairs student volunteers with refugee families. Through interviews with FORGE members and shadowing their tutoring sessions at refugees’ homes, we found out more about the Bhutanese families and the challenges they face when connecting in new contexts.

 

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