Struggle and Survival: Life of a Refugee

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“Only the dead have seen the end of war” but in the midst of wars the surviving doesn’t necessarily reap the benefits (Plato). Escaping death to arrive in countries where people hate you instead of sympathizing is what you get as a refugee. As per oxford dictionary refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their county in order to escape war, persecution or a natural disaster. However, when instead of warmth you receive backlash, some unseen wounds may remain unspoken for rest of your life and invites a sense of helplessness and despair. Many countries have been welcoming to refugees including Canada, promoting ways to create better situations for refugees when they arrive. In the report prepared by Canadian commission for UNESCO, efforts by municipalities that can be taken to make Canada more refugee friendly is brought to limelight by means of interconnectedness these municipalities can promote to make refugees feel safe and helping them overcome post traumatic issues of displacement. Possible situations for refugees on their arrival can be created by integration of refugees in citizen communities and making citizens realize long term contribution of refugees towards economy. However, backlash on the accuse of being threat to safety has to be tackled and efforts to provide better mental health care to refugees should be emphasized on.

Municipalities can create a strong social environment for refugees and citizens to help refugees resettle by helping them combat racialism and help adjust to new society promoting diversity. “Ensuring the integration and social cohesion of newcomers, including refugees, asylum seekers and other groups of immigrants”( Holley, Paul 12). Municipalities can act as corridors connecting citizens and refugees by organizing more programs involving community enrollment for diverse communities. These interactions can help boost knowledge about each others culture and promotes diversity. The “Living Together” approach which means recognizing all forms of diversity, fighting discrimination and working to facilitate peaceful co-existence should be promoted (12). This living together approach can help in overcoming language barriers which often forms a major back hold in getting a desirable job in spite of being qualified. A number of times qualified refugees may remain unemployed or work on survival jobs due to language difference of the host country and the origin country and also due to lack of “Canadian experience”. Municipalities should act as front-line coordinators to ensure wellness among refugees by providing them with safe unbiased community to thrive in and help them cope up with discrimination promoting justice and equality so they can resettle in Canada and can overcome their pain of losing near one’s and decreasing trauma of displacement. Municipalities can help refugees get easy housing facilities and getting employment to help resettle in accordance and coordination with territorial and federal government along with enforcement officials to maximize their impact to build safe, sustainable and promoting inclusive communities.

Making citizens realize the long term benefits of immigrants and refugees on their country’s economy can help cope anti-refugee sentiment which can be beneficial to provide incoming settlers with welcoming attitude rather then hateful and biased opportunities. “We have seen the enormous contributions made by refugees in Canada. Canada wouldn’t be where it is today without refugees. But it takes patience. The short term costs are considerable, but the investment pays off in a few years. We have a shortage of patience today”(Ratna Omidvar). It is true that influx of refugees may be a burden on the country for a while as they need assistance in resettlement and other health services but this investment eventually pays off with interest when each person forms a part of economy and helps boosting the economic growth. In the article by brooking educations in which Dany bahar a fellow for global economy and development program states accepting refugees is a “win to win approach” as they may get a better life and host county gets more workforce and prove to be a productive member of society.

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According to some people, the Canadian Government should secure its citizens safety by monitoring muslim refugees as they are closely associated with terrorism and can be a threat to nation. These people insist that a number of terrorists seem to enter canada in the disguise of refugees. In countries like U. S there has been outright rejection of Muslim refugees as an attempt to secure citizens and this rejection is becoming visible in attitude of few Canadians towards refugees. This rejection arises out of islamophobia created by the terrorist groups by attacking a number of countries. For example, the attack of sept 11,2001 in which the perpetrators were muslim terrorists. Public debate is based more on myths rather than evidence terming Muslims a threat to peace. In my opinion, This hatred for muslims is also fueled by political parties who seem to secure votes by portraying themselves as well wisher for citizens and avoiding threats. Also, the xenophobia or threat of outsiders arising out of increasing competition for opportunities and too many immigrants around, along with islamophobia has been a reason for preventing muslim refugees from entering Canadian borders. These ruthless terrorists are being portrayed as an image of muslims around the world by politicians and other religious groups to spread their own religion by disgracing other. But the truth is, muslims are one of the most peaceful community on earth. Lust for power in name of religion and spreading fear is what terrorists do not muslims. Muslims appear to be most number of Nobel prize for peace securers . How can a person form certain community be a Nobel peace prize winner and be labeled as terrorist at the same time? Certainly, the truth is muslims are not how they are being portrayed. It may be true that some terrorists are infiltrating as refugees, but this shouldn’t be a reason to deny other humans their basic right to safety on basis of religion. Government can be more careful at the time of admission rather than being biased and focussing on muslims, as terrorism has no religion and can enter in any disguise.

Creating possible situations for refugees is incomplete without considering their mental health. The traumatic experience of leaving one’s country and adjusting to new may require strong heart and assistance to overcome. “Canada is well positioned to provide incoming Syrian refugees with support for good mental health. There is a strong evidence base that can be drawn upon to guide mental health service interventions for refugees; however for many communities and practitioners, there are gaps in knowledge about what tools and resources exist” (Agic Branka 4). Canada due to integrated systems, along with strategic alignment of services will be able to provide refugees with appropriate access to mental services and support they may need to overcome their experience of losing close members and resettling to a new country and adapting to a diverse community(4). Special attention towards the needs of displaced can help easing the pain of loss and separation. In report of year 1988 named After the door has been opened, three principles which focused on eliminating risk inducing factors and making reparation accessible to all. Also the attitude of people who interact with these can also form a major factor to invite or eliminate distress depending on how they are treated. These people include immigration officers, settlement workers , teachers , neighbours , health and mental care personnel and many more which on proper behaviour can provide warmth to the refuges but can also show backlash that can haunt them in years to come. And lastly every level of policy making government must consider needs and perspectives of refugees so these strategies and policies can prove beneficial. Moving on, recovery approach should be drawn across all sectors to develop comprehensive and coordinated support system to grow and resettle, promoting wellness among refugees and making mental health care facilities easily accessible since the trauma experienced and diagnosis of trauma may remain hidden for years.

Concluding, in order to create possible situations for refugees every sector of society including government, coordinators, enforcers and common people have to work in coordination so refugees can resettle and start a new life and help easing the pain of losing close one’s and displacement. We have to work together to provide them their basic rights since everyone has a right to life and making sure our actions and sentiments do not threaten someone’s freedom and inhibits their growth.

Work cited

  1. Agic, Branka, et al. Supporting the mental health of refugees to Canada. Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2016.
  2. Holley, Paul & Jedwab, Jack. (2019). Welcoming Immigrants and Refugees to Canada: The Role of Municipalities Toolkit for Inclusive Municipalities in Canada and Beyond.
  3. Bahar, Dany. “Why Accepting Refugees Is a Win-Win-Win Formula.” Brookings, Brookings, 20 June 2018,

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Struggle and Survival: Life of a Refugee. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved August 8, 2022, from
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