Thursday, September 20, 2007

Unemployment and 'disturbing' refugees

I do love picking out articles in the press and putting my 5 cents worth in, and here's a classic:

"Welsh Refugee Council says it has found "disturbing" levels of unemployment among refugees, despite the fact they are highly qualified.
- Are they serious?? Do they not get it??
These are refugees - people who are only living in your country for the simple reason that they can no longer survive in their own.

They are not people who are necessarily in your country by choice, but now that they are in and nicely settled, you pay them good money to do ... er ... absolutely nothing! Some of them, as highly qualified as they are, have probably not ever been given such a good salary in their lives and there in Britain they are receiving it for not working.

So what I'd like to know is, where is the incentive to find a job? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are many refugees who have grabbed the opportunities with both hands and have achieved great things but I know if i was in their shoes, degree and all, i would most definitely NOT be working but would be taking the money and taking advantage of all the time on my hands and enjoying every day as it comes.

Throughout Africa all of us have to work to live. It is not a choice and if we don't work, or someone in our family does not provide for us, we starve - simple as that. Yes, it may be true that not all work involves trotting off to the office every day but there are fields to dig, crops to take care of, livestock to feed and fetching water is a daily essential.

These are probably not ideas of work that'll get your average Brit out of bed in a morning but here (as in a lot of countries in the world), there is no government standing by, parting with cash and sympathy and if you don't get off your arse in the morning and go to work, whether in a field or an office, then you will not survive.

Refugees in remote districts of Kenya have been turned into dependants of this handout system of the first world by NGO's as in hard times of war, droughts, famine and floods they bring them into camps and feed them - and although we certainly do not knock them for that - what we do knock them for is getting these people to give up their lives in order to be fed in these camps. In the majority of the areas livestock are their only form of wealth and yet these camps do not feed the livestock - only the people. This means grazing around the camps becomes non-existent and in order for the people to survive the harsh conditions they have to give up their livestock (and therefore their only form of wealth), and have now become destitute, knowing refugee camps as the only way to survive.

You hear of people living in these camps who are second generation refugees. People who have never been given an opportunity to live outside of the camps and, although most are given some form of education, they have never been taught to fend for themselves.

Then the lucky few get whisked off to the US, UK and other European countries and are put into places of relative luxury - compared to what they have ever known - and then on top of it they get paid money to be there so now how 'disturbing' is that. It's paradise to compared to what they have come from so what on earth would possess them to want to go to work??

No comments: