What they really need

A Kenyan bloke I studied with was telling me about some women who had recently arrived from Somalia, and now lived in and around Yokine in the northern suburbs of Perth. A local council was keen to be involved with them, and some community workers got together to cook up some strategies to help these ladies who were still settling in to a new place, far away from home, and having had some dreadful experiences along the way.

They decided a walking group for the women would be good – it would help everyone keep healthy, and help them get to know the places that were around their community. And it would help people form new networks and relationships, with each other and hopefully others. Plans were made, funding sought, and brochures and posters done. Nobody came though. Even with a bigger promotional push, interest was very low.

A number of conversations later, the reasons became much clearer. These women were refugees – they had been walking all their lives. After years of trauma and travelling to escape violence, the last thing they needed or wanted was to walk some more.

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2 Comments on “What they really need”


  1. […] or money to actually achieve their objectives. And those failures really are embarrassing. This walking group proposed for Somali refugees in Australia seems like a good example of that kind of […]

  2. Rob Douglas Says:

    Don’t we love to do things for (to) people, thinking that somehow we are helping. Usually it is about how it makes us feel, and how our egos are massaged.


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