8 Jan 2017

101 support for migrants

Support networks can help make staying easier.
    Last year I  spoke to an immigrant cluster support network group, Wings.
    Wings has been running for nearly ten years and is a great example of a support network for immigrants, especially new immigrants and people new to the district. The group stood out as being warm, welcoming and with a variety of activities at different times of the day, caters for an extensive pool of interests.
    I spoke to this support group about the lifecycle of an immigrant and touched on some emotional challenges of immigration. Issues such as the difficulties when your loved ones are elderly or sick seemed timely to discuss, because before the talk one member had related that she had just returned from four months in California looking after her sick father. She was now on “stand by” waiting to hear of news that would need decisions and action.  Another member related that she had just found out that her brother-in-law had died that day. Tears exuded her fragility and I thought of the frustration she would probably be feeling from not being among those who loved him and so be able to share the grief together.
    In the question time, we talked abut connection with grandchildren or lack of it. One woman said, “You come here. You learn English. You let English be your main language at home so that your children will get the best out of school. Then when your parents come over, your children can’t communicate with their grandparents because they don’t have the same first language.”  The comment reminded me that language differences are a strong barrier when trying to keep connected with your loved ones and those in your adopted country.
    It was good to know that there was a place where these immigrants had a place to air their frustrations and challenges. Well done Wings.

There are times when you need help
You can read more about support networks from the free pdf chapter of my book, The Emotional Challenges of Immigration, download the chapter by clicking here.

Post a Comment