Before beginning this class I knew basic information about refugee camps. I knew that refugee camps were there to provide shelter and aid to people in need, but I had never really thought any more about it. After spending a few weeks in this class and reading the articles this week, I am torn. On one end refugee camps are great, they provide a safe place to people who need it; but on the other hand refugee camps suck.
“It is the very foundation of the camp as a place of waiting apart from society, and also the site of those displaced persons and refugees who have ‘self-settled’ in the sense that they dwell in peripheral zones of temporary or illegal occupation. Nothing can ever be totally achieved in such contexts…” (page 40)
Refugees in these camps are not allowed to work. They are stuck in the camp waiting for their life to continue but unable to move on. Before this class I didn’t know that refugees could be in these camps for years. As an organizational communication studies major something that is engrained in us is that a lot of people use work to create and fulfill their identity. Refugees are prevented from doing that because they are not allowed to work, even in their camps.
As a senior in college I am starting to search for jobs. I have received all this education and now I am able to use it. Reading about the Bhutanese refugees was really saddening. Some of the children were born into the refugee camp and know nothing else; but the other refugees had a life and had their lives taken from them. The Bhutanese refugees were fortunate enough to receive an education but now they are in the stage were they are educated and want to create a career but can’t. They’re waiting for their lives to begin again, but they could wait years.
It is really easy to think that refugee camps are really great because they are providing help to people who desperately need it; and they are great for doing that, but refugees are people too and need more fulfillment in their lives than being stuck in an ‘in-between’ phase on the outskirts of society.