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New life, new challenges: helping refugees adjust to unfamiliar surroundings

learning world

New life, new challenges: helping refugees adjust to unfamiliar surroundings

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For refugees arriving at a new country it may be the end of a long and painful journey, but the transition to life in their new home, temporary or otherwise, is not without its challenges. While possibly coping with the trauma of fleeing their home they have to adjust to life in a new culture and all that goes with it. In this edition of Learning World Maha Barada presents three stories exploring this theme.

Burkina Faso: dancing to remember

The Mentao refugee camp in Burkino Faso is home to around 13,000 people who have fled the conflict in neighbouring Mali, most of the them Tuaregs. Striving to relieve the hardship and tedium of life in a tent city many of the refugees attend dance classes specially designed to help them deal with the experiences they have been through and keep alive their cultural identity.

Gaza Strip: making the grade

UN-run schools in Gaza face massive challenges in providing education amid the post-war ruins of the Palestinian territory. Among them is the task of helping young people who have fallen behind in key subjects because of the disruption caused by the conflict. This story focuses on a programme to bring students up to appropriate levels in Arabic and mathematics.

Italy: homeless but not hopeless

One of the biggest challenges a refugee has to deal with is learning the language of the country they arrive in. Our final report looks at a day centre in Sicily where volunteers help new arrivals get to grips with the local language. The lessons enable refugees to break down barriers, assimilate with the local community and even increase their job prospects.

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