|Friday, 10 December 2010 14:07|
My name is Khadra Mohamed and I would like to share with my Somali fellows my perspective in resettlement. In other words what it means to me to be a successfully resettled person in New Zealand.
Resettlement is such an important topic as it is constantly applied to people from refugee backgrounds like myself. Policy makers, government departments and NGOs use the term when discussing or initiating policies and programmes aimed at addressing the resettlement challenges faced by both the newly arrived refugees as well as former refugees.
Resettlement is a two way process: giving and receiving. I came here as a teenager or what is termed as the 1.5 generation. I didn’t speak English when I arrived here in 1999 having spent my childhood years in refugee camps in Kenya and missing out on many years schooling as we had to move from camp to camp.
Coming to New Zealand was an opportunity to catch up with missed opportunities in education and other areas of life development. I had only one year of high school in New Zealand but later enrolled into tertiary programme after improving my English.
Key to resettlement:
It is also important not to dwell on the past or events back home as NZ is our home now and what happens here affects our lives more than elsewhere. Being a forward looking person not a backward looking one is important
My advice for the Somali parents is:
Having education and employment yourself as a parent make your children look u p to you as good role model and other people’s perception of the host community depends on what we do or don’t do.
Question: historically Somalis are known to be entrepreneurial but that has not been a feature in our community in New Zealand whereas Somalis who have resettled in countries such as Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia have established successful businesses and are envied by the locals.
What is the barrier here? Is it unfamiliar business environment that is holding us up or are we too scared of failure?
Article by : Khadra Mohamed