For months, the Syrian refugee crisis has been in the news. Unfortunately, while attention to this disaster seems to be waning a bit from main-stream culture, the monstrous disaster continues, with little sign of abating soon. If progress is to be made, it is critical to understand the source or and nature of this catastrophe and its victims.
What is the cause of the refugee crisis?
A war of global geo-political proportions is now entering the eighth year. Almost half of the country of close to 24 million have been forcibly-displaced.
It’s the number one country producing refugees, escalating the refugee crisis to a scale not seen since the World War II.
What is life like for these refugees?
The condition of the refugees, as well as their quality of life is directly related to the economic means and resourcefulness of the displaced. Some had the meager means to be internally displaced (i.e. stayed at ground zero of the crisis). Others made it to neighboring countries and their situation varies based on the host country. In general, they are mostly living in tents or container camps. Some managed to move into a dwelling and have some ability to improve their situation on all levels, but this goes hand-in-hand with the rights and privilege given to them by the host country.
The transient country
Establishing a new life, or at least an interim, is fast-paced and followed by resettlement. During this journey, exploitation on all levels, depression, anxiety, chemical dependency, and lost hope are the norm, rather than the exception. There are refugee children who were born into this situation (and are now 8 years old) and know nothing of a life beyond the camp. Illiteracy is a huge issue. Violent behavior is prevalent. The fabric of society and the family nucleus becomes fragile and is often destroyed.
A new phenomenon
Because the situation has become chronic with no hope in sight for resettlement due to laws and agreements that put them in stagnation, many are escaping camps and dissolving in an urban environment. They practically disappear, making abandoned buildings their squatter living. We see the phenomenon where people occupy an empty property, where all kinds of diseases, malnourishment, addiction are taking place amongst those who could not find or obtain a job due to language and cultural barriers. It brings a new challenge of finding them in a concrete jungle, to assist especially the vulnerable amongst them with hope and dignity.
You can help! Donate to Syrian refugee relief through BGR.