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Refugees in our midst

Posted by: barrmar

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barrmar
My son has become involved in projects to help the refugees. These are refugees from our own country - people that have been forced out of their homes and lost everything that they owned.

Time has been dedicated to making sandwiches, collecting money, clothes, books and anything else that can be used to make the lives of these refugees easier. Barely five kilometers from our home live people that have lost everything. A change of clothing has become a luxury. Our fellow countrymen have seen fit to rob these people of every possession.

An important aspect of the assistance are the daily visits to the camp. To talk to the refugees, provide some recognition and help prevent them from becoming dehumanised. The refugees are people. Many are here for the simple reason that they cannot live in their own countries. Many are Zimbabweans whose country has been wrecked to the point where the choice is South Africa or starvation. Our own government has not helped.

We think that we have problems. These are nothing. They are trivial next to the challenges facing the refugees on a daily basis. Many are now unable to go to work, and the pain of doing nothing and having nothing is very great.

While there may be many that have contributed to this problem, others are making sacrifices and devoting time and money to helping the refugees.

The violence may have stopped, but the displaced people are still living in temporary shelters. Conditions are poor but at least their is a degree of safety.

Thousands have returned to Mozambique, but the Zimbabweans hardly have a choice at the moment.

Later this month the 'rerun' for the presidential elections in Zimbabwe takes place. With huge amounts of violence and intimidation taking place there still remains a chance for a return to democracy. Perhaps that will be part of the solution. But is there hope for South Africa when members of the rainbow nation have turned against the strangers in their midst?
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written by gonzobabe, June 04, 2008
I like the sentence " pain of doing nothingand having nothing is very great" it really is pain. (and that is besides the trauma os being attacked and being displaced). Good for you.
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written by barrmar, June 04, 2008
Thank you gonzobabe. My son has been going on visits to a specific refuge centre with his school, brining goods and talking to the refugees. Direct contact brings a whole new perspective.
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written by gonzobabe, June 04, 2008
in CT or Jo'burg? It is really really a great thing he is doing, and the talking and intercation is as neccessary as food and shelter. Congrats
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written by barrmar, June 04, 2008
It is Germiston on the East Rand of Jo'burg

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