Many of you have reached out to me over the past few weeks, wondering how I am spending my time. First, I continue to remain connected by phone to various refugee community leaders, offering encouragement and advice where I can. Second, I have been able to provide some of them with extra income by hiring them to translate documents for the local health department. Finally, I have continued to work on analyzing the data from our dialogues with refugee communities. I’ll have much more to share on this in the coming months, but here’s a snapshot of what’s to come…
At each community meeting, we divided into small groups and asked a series of questions about culture, business, community spaces, and other things. One question was about how refugees earned income back home. Here’s how they responded:
What I want you to notice is that, of 18 small groups who answered the question, 16 thought to mention the importance of farming, while 13 mentioned ownership of a small business. Compare that to the chart below, where 0 groups mentioned farming practices as a means for current income, and only 7 groups mentioned small business ownership. 9 groups instead mentioned that no, or very few, people in their community own a small business.
I remember what it was like 12 years ago when I moved to Papua New Guinea. I lost a huge chunk of my identity when my own skills were no longer useful or valued. These charts paint a painful picture of loss. I will have much more to share about our findings, and what we can do about them, in the near future.
In the meantime, will you continue to partner with us through financial giving? This work is more important now than ever. Thank you!