Twenty-five years ago, the United Nations declared October 17th as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This year, the UN is calling for peaceful and inclusive societies. This could not be more important for the communities that Peacebuilding Solutions works with. Refugees face unsafe living and working conditions. In LDJ, the community Peacebuilding Solutions supports in Haiti, many people do not have access to any local hospitals or healthcare. Refugees also face discrimination for their race, ethnicity, home countries, and the very fact that they are entering new countries. Many refugees living in camps have no job or way to support their families. We cannot eradicate poverty without first addressing the growing refugee situation.
We cannot eradicate poverty without first addressing the growing refugee situation.
At Peacebuilding Solutions, we don’t pretend to have all the answers. But we do know one very important thing: the refugee situation cannot be solved unless refugees themselves are heard. Refugee voices are important. They hold the knowledge of what life is like in displacement camps. They know what it feels like to go from stability to not knowing what they next day will hold. It is imperative that their voices are heard at every level, from people implementing projects in the field all the way to the United Nations.
The first thing Peacebuilding Solutions did in the field was to talk with refugees. We listened. We learned. We asked questions and we heard the answers. We took the time with the community to gain their trust. We built that relationship because we knew how important it would be for future work with the community.
From that research, we are able to learn what projects will best benefit the community. These are the projects that the community members themselves asked for. Many projects will give community members the ability to earn a living, whether through working in agriculture or being hired to build needed items like latrines in the community.
Peacebuilding Solutions doesn’t want to stay in displaced communities long-term. We believe that through creating opportunities for work and by supporting refugees as they change their own lives, refugees themselves can move from needing outside support to supporting themselves and their families. This is an important step in eradicating poverty among refugees.
Eradicating poverty takes time. It also takes an understanding of what it means to live in poverty. It takes listening to the very people we are trying to help, and taking that knowledge to the highest level of international discussion. Peacebuilding Solutions is committed to doing what it takes to help refugees. Will you join us?