When folks think of seeking refuge in a foreign country, it is personal safety – which may have been jeopardized for political, religious, or gender reasons – that these people are after. They focus on figuring out how to leave the motherland without getting caught. They try to enter another nation stealthily too to prevent detention or, worse, deportation before the foreign government grants their plea for a haven.
Amidst ensuing legislations and public sentiments, the newcomers faced the task of dealing with the aftermath of their traumatic journeys and adjusting to a new, foreign life. — Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D.
Due to their difficult situation, refugees do not have time to consider the problems they might face there. Some of them, after all, need to rely on the assistance that non-profit groups offer because they cannot obtain a full-time job. Others become homeless or find cultural disparity too challenging to overcome.
In case you feel sorry for the unfortunate state that many asylees and refugees are in, we can share a few tips on how to help them cope with their new environment.
- Become A Host
It is quite easy to spot freshly displaced individuals or families when you are on the streets. Assuming the country is yet to grant them asylum, they are practically illegal immigrants without a permanent home or legal documentation. Hence, these folks may carry what little belongings they have and always look around the area with fear in their eyes.
If you see them, therefore, the first thing you should do is offer a room at your home. You may also inquire at local organizations whether they know of refugees who need shelter while their papers are under processing. This way, the asylum seekers won’t feel too out of place in your community.
- Show Them Around
Once you have befriended some of the migrants staying near you, you can also volunteer to tour them all over the town or city. It is typical for folks who have gotten into a different country illicitly to keep to themselves, after all. Many prefer to stay away from crowded locations, primarily when authorities are roaming, even with papers permitting them to live there.
You may start introducing the new place to the refugees by walking with them to, say, a local supermarket or bakery. Then, you can invite them to the park or any group meeting that you attend regularly. You will know if your efforts are working once they manage to go somewhere without keeping their head low the entire time.
- Teach Your Native Language
Plenty of asylum seekers lack the confidence to live freely in a foreign country as well because they cannot speak the language there. As you perhaps know, most refugees come from non-English speaking nations like Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, et cetera. Although some may be able to form basic sentences, they may still be too timid to talk to the natives directly.
To help such people get over the language barrier, you should not hesitate to give them free tutoring. You can distribute an hour of your day to teach them English or whatever the dialect may be in your country. Similarly, you may coax your other friends to volunteer their linguistic skills to aid more asylees.
- Hire Them
Finally, in case there is a job vacancy in your office, you can try to recommend a refugee for the role. Not all displaced folks lived in poverty in their motherland and received no formal education, you know. Some of them may have had a stable source of income back home, which they needed to leave for security purposes. Hence, they merely require an opportunity to show their skills in the foreign land.
In addition to traditional clinical interventions targeting war trauma, efforts are increasingly being made to help refugees adapt effectively to the challenges of life in whatever setting they are in. This can mean altering settings to make them safer and more hospitable; it can also mean helping refugees gain the knowledge, skills, and other resources they need to overcome the daily challenges they face. — Kenneth E. Miller Ph.D.
Even with the stories of refugees known to the public, we can never fully understand the hardships that they have gone through to reach a new place where they can live without fear every day. The only thing we can do is attempt to help them cope with the hustles and bustles of the community that took them in.