Today in this episode of the Purposeful Series I interview Aden Batar, who was a former Somali refugee who fled with his family from Somalia during their Civil war in 1992. Over the 2 years that they hid in silence in Somalia Aden and his family experienced constant threats to their life, and sadly faced the death of his 2 year old son due to the conditions of the war-torn country and the family’s inability to access proper medical care. Aden chose a life of service once he arrived in America and has dedicated his life to the work of helping other refugees resettle and properly integrate in America through the services of the resettlement agency he works with.
In this interview Aden shares his experience of fleeing the Civil war in Somalia and seeking refuge first in Kenya and finally, the United States. He also brings to light the truth behind the current refugee crisis worldwide and the desperate state that many families are experiencing as a result of this. Having dedicated nearly 25 years of his life to working with refugees and having first-hand experience of his own, Aden reveals the realities behind who the refugees are as people, and what they are truly hoping for by seeking refuge in America.
Currently a key component of refugees recieving proper help and resources to restart their life in America is through the resettlement agencies that are located throughout the Country. These agencies are becoming more scarce as the current refugee admissions ceiling decreases every year and funding for these agencies are retracted. If this continues down the path it’s headed then families seeking shelter and safety will be left without recourse and continue to experience more hardships in addition to the ones they are fleeing from.
The different ways that we can support and assist resettlement agencies in their efforts to help refugee families in need is through the following:
- Advocate: Reaching out to your Congressional Representatives and leaders to communicate your support of resettlement agencies staying open and receiving the funding needed to help refugees.
- Donate: Contribute to the cause through financial support and donate so that staff and volunteers can continue to fund their programs and services. Follow this link here to donate to the Catholic Community Services that Aden Batar works at as an Immigration and Refugee Resettlement Director .
- Volunteer: Contribute to the cause through your time and see how you can get involved at a resettlement agency near you. There are volunteering opportunities that range from being a mentor to fostering a child who is unaccompanied by a parent and in need of a loving environment. Find a resettlement agency near you with this link and get involved!