Refugee Kid's Essay Example


New culture and effects on refugee’s kids

Culture plays a vital role in influencing a kid’s health. Proper strategies for managing new culture once subjected to determine a kid’s growth and development in later stages. Refugee’s kids have borne a great brunt of a new culture in places they have moved to. According to UNHCR (2000), the challenge encountered by these kids is broad and varied. Migration and settlement are one of the most challenges experienced by a refugee kid. Migration is ever on the increase than never before. Problems such as war, politics, employment and religion among others have contributed to migration across the globe. Such movements have contributed to cultural shock among the refugees kids. Challenges such encountered by families of refugees such as housing and connecting with other kids disrupt the new status of the kid. A new culture thus, instills isolation, loneliness, and worry for friends who have been left behind.

A new culture also entails learning a new language for easier communication. Learning a new language, other than the kid’s own becomes a major challenge for a refugee kid (Murray, Davidson & Schweitzer, 2010). A new language provides an opportunity for a refugee kid to find his/her way with the newly found community. A "forced” new culture is perpetuated by stressful experiences, as in the case of a refugee kid. Thus, the stressful experiences contribute to new challenges on the kid. A stressful experience result as a result of torture, violence, and war. These forms of events are stressful in nature, and a new culture does not help a refugee kid either.

Magnitude of the problem and those affected

Culture is a widespread phenomenon affecting young and old. A new culture can be equated to an emotional disorientation which is often characterized by feelings of anxiety and shock. In the United States, for example, the UNHCR (2014) points out that in 2013, 63,000 unaccompanied minors were crossing into the United States from Central America. This figure might be higher in recent years owing to factors such as politics, human smuggling and war among other factors. The most affected population is the kids. This is because they have to adapt to a new culture which they are not familiar. Adaptation to a new culture, therefore, comes with new consequences such as trauma, isolation, and loneliness among other challenges on a refugee kid.

Why refugee kids leave their home country

Experts in child care have also cited poverty and violence as a driving factor in refugee’s kid in search for a new place to live. According to a report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UONDC), Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador rank top in violence instigated crimes. Further, poverty has also contributed to the rise of refugee kids, not only in the United States but across the world (UONDC, 2014). According to UN (2016), the Northern Triangle countries make up the top list of countries with the highest rate of poverty in South American.In a report released by the UN in 2013, a majority of refugee kids leave as a result of the economic threat faced by their families.

Also, displacement from home country is another cause of a kid’s trauma experience. Many cases of displacement exist. The sole reasons why a refugee kid leaves his/her country is armed conflicts. Others include widespread violence. Fiscella (1996) asserts that such blatant violations directly threaten the lives and freedom of a child. In most cases, a refugee child finds him/herself separated from a close relationship, deprived of protection and care of the family, hence becoming vulnerable to abuse and exploitation in a new culture. Similarly, their fundamental rights become weak as a result of discrimination.

Migration has also been cited as a major cause of trauma for a refugee kid. The trauma instigated by this factor is a major challenge to overcome because of lack of psychological help. This aspect leads to a kid developing a psychosocial distress especially for children who abode in transit and who must consistently be compelled to hide every time (Hattar & Meleis, 1995). Displacement also has a toll on a child especially happens when looking for identification documents. These documents are vital in tracing a child’s identity.

Adapting to the new language

Studies indicate that a refugee kid is more likely to receive little linguistic support at home. Thus, they require more support in school to aid them in acquiring a new language. This is because a refugee child leaves behind a language which he/she is familiar with, the community, social system and the culture. Other factors associated with trauma such as harsh travels, losing familiar environment and difficulty in acquiring food and shelter adds to his/her psychological toll. These challenges impact a refugee’s kid in learning a new language.

Statistics of Children entering the US

Recent statistics of U.S. immigrants indicate that kids fleeing from their home countries to the United States come from Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras among other Central America countries. By 2014, statistics shows that more than 47,027 had arrived in the United States. This figure represents 92 percent increase from what was witnessed in 2013. Further, another study by the Center for American Progress (CAP) shows that this figure will increase to 90,000 by 2017 (CAP, 2016).

The role of a social worker

A child’s growth and development is solely tied to his surroundings. A better environment stimulates a positive growth while the reverse is true. A social worker has therefore bestowed the responsibility in assisting a kid to adapt to the new culture. To avoid a child from being vulnerable to the traumatic experience as a result of several factors, a social worker has to instill guidance as well as good moral behavior. This will assist a child to adapt quickly to the new culture.

Reference List
CAP. (2016, July 24). "5 Things You Need to Know About Unaccompanied Children.” Center For American Progress.Retrieved from you-need-to-know-about-the-unaccompanied-minors-crisis/
Nayla, R. (2016, May 26). "Welcoming Unaccompanied Alien Children to the United States.” Family reunification disguised as refugee resettlement. Retrieved from
UONDC. (2014, March 29). "High levels of crime and violence threaten Caribbean growth and prosperity.UNODC. Retrieved from < 03.html >
UN. (2016, May 30). "UN refugee agency warns of spike in asylum-seekers fleeing violence in Central America.” UN. Retrieved from < >


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