How does PS stand with refugees? Let’s discuss 9 ways.
- You’ve been forced to flee for your life, leaving your friends behind, and possibly your family. You don’t know when you’re going to get back, if ever; you’re hopeless and despondent. And then people you’ve never seen in your life start telling you how to live your life. Instead of managing refugee communities, PS is a facilitator and moderator. At PS, we stand with refugees by not telling people how to live their lives; would you like it if it happened to you?
- Have you ever heard of a company start selling a product in a market without doing any research on their market first? Silly, right? Yet this is one of the main problems with how aid works now: aid hits the ground and is handed out with no research about what’s really needed. Sure, people might need tarps, but what if they want water more? Or shoes for their kids? At PS, we stand with refugees by doing research first and building our intervention around their needs, not what we think their needs are.
- Even when research is done, it sometimes isn’t done correctly. The first man or woman who you meet in the field might not be the actual leader of the community or respected. PS stands with refugees by taking our time with our research to get a good idea of who’s in charge and why.
- Gender is important: PS stands with refugees by being as inclusive as possible with the communities we serve.
- Refugees aren’t always able to speak for themselves, given their situation. PS stands with refugees by bridging that gap: we can tell their stories to the world. Where they can’t give a voice, we give them one.
- There are some things that people just don’t want to talk about, either with the opposite sex, or with anyone. PS stands with refugees by engaging in culturally sensitive work in the field, always.
- Respect is earned, not given or assumed. Just because you’re there to help doesn’t mean people should bow and scrape to you: you’ve got to earn respect, every single day you work with someone. PS stands with refugees by knowing that respect is earned, never given.
- When PS intervenes, we hire as many people in the community as we can. We hire locals, and we negotiate with them to pay the fairest wages we can. PS stands with refugees by helping, in our small way, to disassemble the neocolonialist structures that the aid system is built on.
- PS stands with refugees by always working for refugees, not the other way around.