All Volumes (2001-2008)


Volume III, 2003

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In the year 2002, the borders of countries are becoming blurred as people are forced to migrate due to internal and boundary wars that affect entire regions. Refugees are people who have fled their homes with minimal or no personal possessions due a fear of persecution by the situations occurring in their home countries. Over 20 million people have been classified as refugees.
The areas to which these people first flee for refuge are neighboring poor countries. Hence, the living conditions in refugee camps lack prospects for a future with any semblance of normalcy. Less than one percent of refugees are permitted to participate in resettlement opportunities in a third country of refuge, like the Unites States the host country that is the focus of this research. With the collaboration of the UNHCR, the strong economic host countries, nongovernmental organizations and efforts by local agencies, the refugees are resettled and enrolled in programs to promote adjustment and self-sufficiency. The research compliments hands-on experience that I gained during my own volunteer work with a refugee family enrolled in the Refugee Resettlement Program carried out by the Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida {LSS}. Observing three families during 2001-2002, from the volatile regions of the Balkans, the Middle East and the African continent who were enrolled in different adjustment programs and at different stages in the process, the purpose of the research is to present the issues that have both promoted and hindered their resettlement efforts.