Editor's note: A Page One story Aug. 26 detailing allegations that the International Rescue Committee's resettlement program for Somali Bantus in Boston has provided inadequate assistance to the refugees failed to meet Globe reporting standards in several areas. The story relied on the accounts of two former IRC employees and four families in the approximately 140-refugee community and did not present enough context about the broader refugee experience for the reader to judge how prevalent the alleged problems were.
In addition, IRC officials were not given the opportunity to respond to specific allegations. For instance, a woman who was described as descending into dementia without medical care was seen regularly by doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, according to the IRC. Her apartment was described as ''urine soaked," but the story did not detail the IRC's efforts to help maintain the apartment. In another case, a struggling family was provided with 18 months of rent and more than $15,000 in other support, according to the IRC.
In addition, the translator hired by the Globe to assist with interviews of the refugees was arranged by the ex-employees who had brought the complaints to the Globe's attention. An independent translator should have been retained. After publication of the story, the translator gave conflicting accounts to the Globe and to IRC officials of how he had translated several statements made by refugees in interviews for the story. As a result, several key assertions by refugees remain in dispute.
An incorrect figure for the agency's annual budget last year was given; it was $163 million. An incorrect job title for one of the ex-workers was given; Eliza Castaneda was a part-time program manager.
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