Thursday, February 18, 2016

I was a migrant too

Migrants made a decision to move to another country to meet their financial/economic needs.
They also have social needs: being in close contact with friends, family and relatives. They did not leave their social needs behind in a box. Have we ever tried to empathise with the homesickness that migrants feel? People had to make a difficult decision to uproot themselves and leave their family behind. It is definitely NOT 'for fun'. The trip from the home country does not feel touristy at all. I remember the heartache and the tears that rolled down my cheeks in 2007 when I made my journey to England. As the aircraft took off, my spirit did the opposite of soaring. Not fun at all.
When there are a lot of basic psychological needs not met, should we be surprised that there are 'problems'?
Their work environment is largely dictated by their employer. Employers should take the responsibility to create an environment to improve psychological well-being.
Their social environment is another important element for their well-being. Being accepted and treated fairly in social context is a huge boost for psychological health. Who's going to do the 'accepting' job? Guess who do they find in their social environment. Yes, us.
Do we do a good job to assimilate the migrants? Or do we try our best to ignore or actively harass them?
On what basis should we treat the migrants with contempt and disgust? Based on their passport? Body odour? Their language? The government spokeperson who campaigned for their arrival?
Is your religion not strong enough to be a basis for reaching out to your brothers and sisters?