As the world has become increasingly aware of the refugee crisis in Syria and Iraq, questions have been raised about how to get those refugees who are able to resettle back on their feet in a new country. One idea is to get refugees with agricultural backgrounds to work on farms.
The Refugee Response is an American organization formed to help refugees from all over the world get back on their feet within three months. The organization offers assistance in English language acquisition, getting used to American culture and becoming self-sufficient. The Refugee Empowerment Agricultural Program (REAP) is designed to give refugees employment, training and education. REAP operates at Ohio City Farm, adjacent to Cleveland’s West Side Market.
In the United States, refugees from Asian and African nations have been settling in and around cities across the map. The New York Times discusses New Roots (you can read more about the program in this interview from FoodTank), a program aimed at strengthening refugees’ skills in areas like soil and irrigation so that they can learn to manage independent farms.
The New York Times published an opinion piece by Beppe Severgnini that suggested that refugees with farming backgrounds should be able to settle in “Italy’s empty spaces.” The author notes that the population is aging, so bringing in people who have farming and building backgrounds could revitalize the land.
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