Cultural Health Assets of Somali and Oromo Refugees and Immigrants in Minnesota: Findings from a Community-Based Participatory Research Project

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2016;27(1):252-260. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2016.0023.


This community-based participatory research study sought to identify the cultural health assets of the Somali and Oromo communities in one Minnesota neighborhood that could be mobilized to develop culturally appropriate health interventions. Community asset mappers conducted 76 interviews with Somali and Oromo refugees in in Minnesota regarding the cultural assets of their community. A community-university data analysis team coded data for major themes. Key cultural health assets of the Somali and Oromo refugee communities revealed in this study include religion and religious beliefs, religious and cultural practices, a strong culture of sharing, interconnectedness, the prominence of oral traditions, traditional healthy eating and healthy lifestyles, traditional foods and medicine, and a strong cultural value placed on health. These cultural health assets can be used as building blocks for culturally relevant health interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Community-Based Participatory Research*
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Emigrants and Immigrants
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Minnesota
  • Refugees*
  • Somalia