Croatian Baptist Aid works alongside governments to ensure protection for refugees, as well as find long-term solutions for challenges that refugees face
Croatian Baptist Aid works alongside governments to ensure protection for refugees, as well as find long-term solutions for challenges that refugees face. Taking into account the political and economic instability of the countries refugees are fleeing, the solution which is most relevant long-term is integration into local societies.
When working on integration, Croatian Baptist Aid takes into account the specific needs of refugees, depending on various factors, i.e. armed conflict, persecution, inability to obtain documentation, etc. Croatian Baptist Aid recognizes that integration is not a uniform process that everyone fits into; a result of misunderstanding the needs and background of refugees can hinder rather than help the process of creating a good and stable life for the refugees in a new country.
With that in mind, Croatian Baptist Aid approaches integration through five specific areas:
Education and language – knowing the local language is the basis of integration. It helps refugees come in contact with local society, build relationships, and makes everyday life in a new country easier. The process of learning also provides a sense of progress and forward motion.
Social integration, inclusion and active citizenship – including refugees in the everyday life of the local population, i.e. helping youth enroll into schools/universities, assisting in employment seeking, providing spaces and opportunities for refugees to take part in local social events, in order to learn about local culture and norms, expand acquaintances, get involved in leisure time activities that create a sense of belonging, etc. At the same time, Croatian Baptist Aid recognizes that inclusion is a two-way street that requires both the local population, as well as refugees to do their part.
Employment – work is a crucial component of integration. Being employed provides people with economic and social stability, as well as a sense of purpose that helps the individual to rebuild their life. Croatian Baptist Aid, alongside other humanitarian organization, helps with education and training in skills that enable and encourage refugees to seek jobs in local societies.
Housing – refugees often struggle with finding suitable and affordable housing, due to lack of employment, unwillingness of landlords to rent out to refugees, etc. Croatian Baptist Aid works with governments and other humanitarian organizations to help refugees transit from centers and camps into housing that provides a stable and secure environment. A safe space means a sense of peace and empowerment, which largely contributes to the overall physical and emotional well being.
Family reunification – it is common for families to be taken apart in crisis. In order to reduce possibilities of trafficking, as well as destruction of families, Croatian Baptist Aid works on restoring refugees’ family ties. Refugees are assisted in locating and getting in touch with family members abroad. Assistance is also provided in reuniting families in countries where asylum was granted to a family member.