Working With Refugees

This month's theme at WiFP is women who work in the field of refugees. For many the refugee crisis is far removed from their own personal lives. It's only something most people hear about in snippets on the news or social media. 

I myself did not comprehend the complexity and the magnitude of the crisis until I started working with refugees in 2015. I started off as a Refugee Status Determination Officer, meaning I interviewed refugees and decided on asylum applications. I started off doing so in the luxury of my home office, and was later deployed to one of the hotspots on the Greek islands, where my office was right in the middle of a refugee camp. There were mornings where I literally had to step over sleeping families to get inside, a reality check that changes everything.

I sometimes have a hard time dealing with the situation of inequality refugees often find themselves in. It's the state versus the asylum seeker; the older inhabitants of a state versus the new inhabitants; the aid worker versus those in need of aid. Anyone working with refugees at some point searches for their place within this crisis. I am still searching for it.  

Do read our past interviews with Fahrinisa Fatima Oswald and Bathoul Ahmed, along with the new interviews below to learn more about other wonderful women working in the field of refugees. 

We would still like to interview women who write policy for their respective governments on matters regarding refugees. Even more so we would love to interview female refugees who ended up working in foreign policy. If this is you, please contact WiFP

And don’t forget to tune in to our brand new podcast hosted by Annika Erickson-Pearson and Ashley Pratt. We have two episodes coming out this month! More information below.

Loes is a contributor at Women in Foreign Policy.