Slums of AfricaSlums of Africa such as Nima, Kroo Bay, Kibera and others collectively house more than 60 percent of the urbanized population who continue to live in absolute poverty.

Moreover, countries like Egypt, Somalia and Libya have become the epicenter of turbulence over the years with extremist organizations gaining momentum. As a result, many families have had to flee in search of better conditions, but what they find is far from satisfactory.

According to a statement by Newsvision, South Africa in particular has failed to cope with the pressure of rural to urban migration. This problem can lead to adverse effects on the economically active individuals in Africa.

An analysis conducted by Newcastle University in 17 government schools in Tanzania has highlighted that many gifted children living in the slums of Africa are unable to reach their full potential.

However, over the years individuals like Brian Mutebi have made the futures of thousands of schoolgirls secure. His campaign ‘Let Girls Be’ provides opportunities such as scholarships and training.

This past May, U.N. Habitat released the ‘World Cities Report.’ This accentuates their New Urban Agenda, a spearhead for many social and economic developments in major developing countries, to be adopted by October.

U.N. Habitat has also become active in relocating countless refugees in South Sudan in their initiative ‘Housing for Peace.’ They have been victims of slavery and abuse, and living in the camps and slums has only aggravated this further.

Additionally, the international relations that have been fostered by countries in East Africa have lead to the forging of a steadfast bond with South Korea.

President Park Geun-hye’s recent visit coincided with the provision of numerous aid programs in the form of health, hygiene and education services to various slums of Africa by the Korean International Cooperative Agency (KOICA). Not only will this initiative strengthen the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between the countries, but it is also a symbol of cooperation and diplomacy.

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) has engaged in a number of land and rural reform programs to ensure that rural South Africans benefit from the same human rights as anybody else. These reforms center around such items as deracialisation of the rural economy and fair, equal-opportunity land allocation.

Finally, the World Bank has supported the improvement of feeding programs in Sub-Saharan countries. As governments and people come to realize the importance of self-sufficiency, the chance to alleviate absolute poverty in the slums of Africa becomes a hopeful possibility.

Shivani Ekkanath

Photo: Flickr

Ways to Host Refugees America
Increased media coverage of the global refugee crisis has prompted waves of humanitarian support and local activism across the world. Iceland made headlines when 10,000 of its citizens volunteered to house personally refugees coming from Syria, and others have followed suit in finding ways to host refugees, from Berlin to Birmingham.

Wondering about ways to host refugees in your home? Not everyone can personally provide housing, but below are three simple ways to get started in the effort to welcome refugees to America.


3 Ways to Host Refugees in America


  1. Become aware of local need. It’s easier than ever to become connected to relief and charitable organizations near you. Some of the largest and most wide-reaching of resettlement agencies in the United States are the International Rescue Committee and Catholic Community Services, both of which organize humanitarian aid in over 100 U.S. cities.Spend some time reaching out to charitable organizations in your area to find out what their current needs are, who their clients are, and what types of schools, health or religious organizations work with them.
  2. Consider temporarily housing a refugee. Although refugees admitted to the United States for resettlement are usually quickly connected with local relief agencies, refugees are often vulnerable to unstable housing conditions or even homelessness. Several U.S. and international agencies are searching for individuals and families with extra rooms that they are willing to use to host recently arrived refugees, especially those in crisis or extreme circumstances.Connect with Room for Refugees, which specializes in providing safe temporary housing for refugees living in the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe and Canada. The chance to personally share your home with a refugee can be immensely rewarding, and provide desperately needed help for those adjusting to life in a new place.Looking for ways to host refugees in your home?Search for organizations like the Karam Foundation, a non-profit group providing aid for Syrians, which is currently seeking to help new refugees find housing with Americans of Syrian descent.Many private non-profit organizations are seeking to connect refugees with a variety of services for temporary housing, and your opportunity to help could be as close as your front door.
  3. Consider ways to host refugees by connecting them with neighbors. Becoming a friend and neighbor to refugees struggling to resettle may be the most powerful way to combat hateful rhetoric, both in the U.S. and abroad.Agencies like the International Rescue Committee, among others, place a high priority on helping refugee families find friends, neighbors and support structures within their new communities. When the 2015 cap for U.S. resettlement of refugees was raised to 85,000 from 70,000, it prompted waves of polarization and xenophobia across the country.A Pew Research Center survey even showed that a majority of Americans disapprove of helping to resettle more Syrians within our borders. The International Rescue Committee, along with other agencies, regularly recruit home mentors for refugee families, providing you with the opportunity to welcome your new friends into your home, or you into theirs, as you solidify a new friendship.

    Other aid agencies are in constant need of home tutors, both for students struggling to adjust to life in American public schools, as well as adults returning to school or learning English as a second language.

    While in-kind and monetary donations of food, clothing, furniture and supplies can help a refugee family build a home, the chance to be a family mentor, tutor or friend may do more to help refugees feel like they belong.

The U.S. admits record numbers of refugees, but schools and government agencies still struggle to help refugees feel at home and safe. Helping to find ways to host refugees and opening your home, either literally or otherwise, is a critical opportunity to be part of solving the world’s worst refugee crisis in 70 years. More importantly, it’s a chance to help your neighbors know that they belong.

Eliza Campbell

Photo: U.N. Multimedia

With recent global events, there are many refugees seeking a place to live and support from United States citizens. Here are five tips on how to host refugees at your home.

1. Offer to host your home.

There are many different charities and organizations who work to provide refugees a home such as VolunteerMatch, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services and World Relief.

Through these organizations, you can fill out a form and get matched up with a refugee or refugees who need a place to call home. Some of the matches are temporary and only last a few months while others can be long-term and last a few years. The organizations also provide information on how to host refugees at your home.

2. Share your knowledge.

Once you have offered up your home, it is important that you teach refugees all they need to know about their new home. For example, teach them how to use household appliances, instruct them on basic housekeeping skills and introduce them to the community. They will need to know where the grocery store, the post office and other important places are located.

3. Support them throughout the process.

Make sure there is professional help available for the refugees such as counseling or a coordinator who can check in on them and see how they are doing as most have been through traumatizing experiences.

4. Keep your boundaries.

It is important to respect refugees and not force them to do things they may not feel comfortable with. Always give them the option to participate in an event or outing, never force them or make them feel like they have to take part.

5. Think it through, don’t just go for it.

Don’t offer up your home just for the sake of doing it. Make sure to think it through. As a host, you must understand that there are many challenges you may face and it might not go smoothly at first. Be sure you are prepared for all possible outcomes.

Hosting refugees can be very rewarding and can make a huge difference in the lives of refugees.

Jordan Connell

Sources: AOL, The Guardian, World Relief
Photo: Flickr