Hope for the Forgotten
Many people in the world can recall a day when the safety and security of their homeland turned unpredictable. A day when the ravages of war swept through an otherwise peaceful village, when the police went door to door gathering names, when neighbours began disappearing, or when a family member was taken to prison.
Yesterday, they had a home and a homeland, a culture and an identity. Today, they are forsaken.
They are refugees. They’ve lost their homes, schools, farms, businesses, and places of worship and have been forcibly separated from family members, friends, and community. The violence and disaster they’ve witnessed may have long term physical and mental health effects.
The desperate situation of refugees makes them one of the most vulnerable populations on earth, at risk for trafficking, prostitution, exploitation, discrimination and harassment.
Today, over half of the world’s refugee population finds asylum in urban, metropolitan areas, where they search for a better life and hope to blend in with their surroundings. But when they arrive in another country, life in an unfamiliar city is frightening and hard. Language, culture, religion and skin colour can be barriers, and it may be hard to find work and access support services.
Acknowledging these “toughest of human conditions,” Hagar does whatever it takes for as long as it takes to support Cambodia’s urban refugees. As an Implementing Partner of the UNHCR, Hagar is developing a “Self-Reliance” project to support urban refugees towards full integration into Cambodian society. This includes comprehensive case management and employment services to a select number of high-risk refugee cases. The ultimate goal is to restore security, hope and life in all its fullness to some of the world’s displaced population.
 The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) recognizes that over half of the world’s refugee population dwells in cities as opposed to the more iconic, traditional setting of refugee camps.