Update: as the economy hovers around rock bottom, the domestic environment for refugees will only get worse. Economically, this may be the worst time ever to survive in a new country — especially if your language, education, and cultural skills are drastically different from that of your new home.
Worse yet, the economic pressures tend to inspire some of the least-welcoming attitudes. We’ve been getting verification to many of the rumors of escalating tensions and even violence directed at refugees, as well as immigrants (of any legal status) and even second- or third-generation citizens who appear to resemble immigrants in some way.
We don’t say this to frighten off any prospective refugees, and we strongly urge anyone at any point in the asylum process to complete the process as thoroughly and conscientiously as possible. The possible risks can be dealt with, and in all but the most unusual circumstances are still most likely preferable to the situation from which you are escaping.
In an ideal world, countries, charities, individuals would be facilitating delivering to refuges fleeing from unimaginable circumstances not only the basic necessities, food and bottles of clean water, but also medicines, seeds and the tools necessary to plant, grow, and harvest food, paper, pencils and pens, books, and other educational items, warm clothing and shoes, blankets, towels, sheets, and pillows, and even toys. it would be amazing if we could just order everything online and have it delivered. Imagine doing a google search for products such as janitorial supplies and finding an online store with toilet paper, laundry and dish soaps, paper towels and tissues, trash bags and cans and all the other supplies needed to keep a refuge camp clean and sanitary, ordering what is needed, and then having it delivered for distribution? Most people don’t think twice about ordering janitorial supplies online. If it’s your job to procure all the janitorial products your company needs, it takes only a few clicks of your mouse. Unfortunately, we don’t live in the ideal world and although governments and charities do what they can, but it is never enough.
For many of us, the plight of the refugee is nearly impossible to imagine. Consider the horrors of war and the daily struggle to merely survive in many developing countries — and then subtract the country itself.
Among the avoidable hardships experienced by refugees are societal evils masked as comfort, like drugs and gambling. The problem of hard drugs used to blunt the pain and loneliness are well known to most social workers, and many cultures are against indiscriminate drug use. But at the same time, a large number of cultures readily accept forms of gambling as acceptable entertainment. So it is not difficult to foresee the difficulties arising when temptation is a game of online slots available on a smart phone. Some refugees become victims as a result of a clash of cultural norms, aided by those who sell the debt that appears so alluring to those who have nothing. While we know of many who become addicted to real casinos – they’re the ones there early in the morning – there is even more potential for harm from online gaming. Casinos that don’t require any travel and where the gorgeous slots are always available to those who dream.
Historically, refugees have been compelled to leave their country either due to persecution or a more impersonal disaster (with war and violence a common link between the two categories). While there have probably been refugees as long as there has been conflicts within societies, the concept was mainly formalized during the 20th century.
It has been a problem facing every culture around the world every since then.