Because many refugees live for long periods of time in a semi-permanent state – unable to return home and not permanently resettled in a new country – their ability to become self-sufficient and move beyond dependence on humanitarian aid is crucial. This is not always easy, because skills and licenses are often not transferable to the country where the refugee has fled. Therefore, developing new livelihood skills is one of the most effective ways for a refugee to regain dignity, heal from trauma, and integrate into the host community.
HIAS is expanding our global programs to help refugees identify opportunities for entrepreneurship, vocational training, and employment to help them regain control of their lives.
We have seen quality of life for refugees improve exponentially in Ecuador and Kenya, where we offer such programs. Further, refugees with marketable skills collectively boost local economies.