Caring for Central Asian Refugees
Refugees and IDPs | Print
The process of seeking asylum or refugee status in Central Asia can take years, and the services that families receive while their paperwork is being processed are severely restricted. Informal, underpaid jobs limit a family’s access to good healthcare and education programs, and the red tape that foreign workers have to fight through to get a work permit would be enough to deter anyone from seeking a job in their area of expertise.
When you consider these circumstances on top of the fact that many refugee communities are the subject of verbal and physical attacks, it quickly becomes evident why so many migrants struggle with feelings of hopelessness.
BGR partners in the region recognized that refugees’ physical, mental, and spiritual needs weren’t being met and started a food supplement program that fostered meaningful relationships with migrant families. Meeting regularly for meals created community and a sense of care that these precious people had not felt in a long time.
All in all, you impacted nearly 1,000 people in 23 different local communities through funding these food distributions.
Two of the people you helped were a young couple with children named Ahmad and Layla. Ahmad was a successful engineer and Layla worked as a professional translator before their lives were uprooted due to oppression in their homeland. Because refugees aren’t legally allowed to work in the nation they escaped to, Ahmad had to take odd jobs and get paid in secret to help his small family survive.
Through tears, Layla told a BGR partner, “It’s hard as a mother to tell your kids no all the time because you can’t afford to buy them things. Employers barely pay us because they know we are desperate. They treat us like slaves.”
BGR partners were able to step in and provide groceries for the family, as well as take care of some utility bills, and Ahmad and Layla were incredibly grateful: “Thanks to God! Thank you so much for your help. We will never forget this. Even though we’re far apart, we’re not alone. In Christ, we are one big family.”
And indeed we are.
You cannot put a price on belonging, connection, and emotional healing, but that is what you have provided through giving towards projects like this that care for practical needs while addressing the larger issues.