South Sudan’s refugee crises is now the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world. So we’ve pivoted to bring the same empowerment to the South Sudanese in a new environment. But first, we’re unpacking 3 Myths About Refugees. If you missed the first post, you can go here to catch up.
Today, the second myth we’re challenging is that there’s a permanent solution available for refugees. Having no personal experience as refugees, it’s common for us to think that there are easy solutions to get refugees to a permanent home. But unfortunately most refugees living in prolonged exile have little prospect of returning to their homes, permanently resettling elsewhere, or integrating with full rights in their place of exile.
With more than 80% of refugee crises lasting 10 years or more, returning home often isn’t a viable option, and relocation isn’t likely either. In 2015, less than 1% of refugees were relocated to a third country.
Thus, despite current debate around refugees in the US and Europe, if we want to serve the great majority of refugees, we must determine options to serve them where they are.
Here’s what Pastor Taban James has to say:
“We had to leave all our crops, animals, and belongings. The life of refugees is not good because we left all our property.
People sleep on mats; they have nothing to build houses. We really need food. The UN and other partner organizations are stretched to the limit and many can’t support themselves.
If the women could be put in groups with encouragement and training on how to support their families that would be very good. If people can save they can acquire some of the things that are required at home. Gathering in groups will encourage people and prevent them from just sitting at home to get depressed over their situation. It may also reduce domestic violence.”
Your second paradigm shift is that, since there’s nowhere else for them to go, we must empower them to build a life where they are.
And now, Myth #3.