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Each scenario is unique.

Creating an inclusive environment for refugees is key to the desire for education. How can we create it?

Photo of Karine Sarkissian
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Being a refugee means so many things at the same time.

    -What and where you considered your home is no longer yours. You are not there         anymore, and probably for a while, you will not be able to go there.

    - You were de-routed, and now you are somewhere new, different, somewhere where     you         need to adapt.

-Adapting means:

- having to understand the culture

- having to speak the language

- being a part of a new community

Lebanon has housed many refugees over the years, and unfortunately has really not done a good job at making them feel welcome and included.

There are many refugee camps all over Lebanon, and often the living situations are disastrous and it is very difficult for refugees to integrate themselves in the culture.

-Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are refused citizenship. There rights are so suppressed and sometimes, mere human rights are not even permitted instead of being a fundamental given to any person.

-The refugees, without citizenship are not given jobs, they remain unemployed and remain in these states for a very long time.

How can people integrate themselves and stand on their own two feet when they are not given opportunities to do so in the first place?

Unfortunately, additionally, education is very limited to refugees. People and their children don’t feel the need to get educated if they cannot gain jobs from that education. If they do receive that education, they feel that they cannot use it to push forward and they end up in the same path as they would have initially. This is a vicious cycle and unfortunately, it very difficult to feel included if you are not welcomed where you are.

I do realize that every situation and country has different scenarios, and it is essential to consider each individually. 

I urge you all to help come up with solutions, one step at a time, one individual at a time- however, do keep in mind each situation is unique- and being welcome is key to gaining education and letting that education prosper.

1 comment

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Photo of Shane Zhao

Yes, absolutely. Thanks for sharing this fantastic perspective Karine! We should be sensitive to the diverse contexts and needs of different refugees - one size does not fit all. Looking forward to the provocations that this will spark in the upcoming Ideas Phase. Glad to have you onboard!