My Heart Goes Out to Fellow Children of Refugees.
It’s something we’ve all seen on our screens, the boats filled with refugees from Africa and the Middle East on their exodus to the West.
They’re fleeing war zones and corrupt governments, packing what little they can and leaving all they know and love.
They are desperate, enough to take risks that involve smugglers who often don’t have refugees’ best interests at heart, but do it for the profit it involves.
This is nothing new. We’ve seen this after the World Wars and the Bosnian war, among other world conflicts. Immigrants from back then, like these refugees, faced a slew of hurdles once they arrived.
Language differences, different cultural beliefs (especially towards women/girls), poor employment prospects (as they often have little to no formal education) and health and housing issues.
The native country teeters for and against these new guests. On one side, they see them as an economic source for low positions the native inhabitants refuse to do themselves, another view is that it’s good to be benevolent and forge ties with foreign countries for future economic reasons, and then there are those who see the influx of people as a threat to the safety and peace of native inhabitants.
My heart goes out to the women and girls affected by all this conflict that is mainly the result of groups of misogynistic men trying to get power. Women and girls want peace, they don’t wish to leave their homes, travel a great distance — enduring a barrage of obstacles along the way — only to end up in the lowest strata of some foreign country (which has its own unique set of hurdles).
I come from a line of strong, educated women, and I see how education is so important for women and girls (and society as a whole).
I am a descendant of refugees. In 1600s France, the Catholic church made being a Huguenot (French Protestant) illegal. When this law came into effect, Huguenots around the country were rounded up and killed by the military.
The few who could fled the country for outlier countries like Germany, Switzerland and the British Isles. My ancestors settled in Dumfries, Scotland, where they became merchants of some type. It is believed they were tea merchants, which explains my love of tea!
Then, in the 1800s, my ancestors left that country for Canada. It’s assumed they left because of the Highland clearances (croft owners evicted croft farmers because it was cheaper to breed sheep on that land).They traveled across the Atlantic and arrived in Ontario, where they married and lived ever since. It’s not clear what it is that the preceding generations did, but they likely were merchants as well.
Thus, as modern refugees are doing, my ancestors helped develop Canada.
When there is any kind of chaos, people move great distances to find peace. Sometimes it’s for the good and sometimes for the bad, but sometimes it’s both a blessing and a curse.