Have you ever thought about the experience of hosting refugees in your home: what would it be like? Naturally, we tend to focus on the benefits for refugees, as the main goal is to help them. However, the decision to welcome refugees can also bring many unexpected benefits for the host.
Here are 5 ways you and your community can benefit from welcoming refugees:
Promoting cultural diversity
Promoting diversity through the welcoming and integration of refugees into our communities can enrich our cultural landscape. Not only does welcoming refugees at home promote cultural diversity, but it also fosters social harmony.
Learning about a new culture
Sharing a space with someone from a different culture provides an opportunity to learn about new cultures first-hand, as well as to understand their traditions, languages, cuisines, and histories which can enrich your own understanding of the world.
Shaking up your routine
Welcoming someone at home means the routine will inevitably be reshaped. This can have a very positive impact on your day-to-day life as there will be something exciting to look forward to such as spending time with this person, learning about their culture, showing them around, and helping them to adjust to a new place.
Upholding humanitarian values
Welcoming refugees is a concrete and simple opportunity to uphold humanitarian values such as compassion, empathy, and respect for human rights. If you’ve ever wanted to volunteer, this might be the perfect time!
Integrating refugees into local communities promotes social cohesion by breaking down barriers between groups and fostering mutual understanding and respect. Refugees who have had adequate support in their integration process will have a greater sense of motivation to become part of their new communities. According to a study (in German) carried out by the Institut fur Arbeitsmarkt und Berufsforschung (Institute for Employment Research), refugees from Ukraine who rented a private home (instead of a government-owned place) are 5.5% more likely to be employed and have an 11.1% higher monthly income.
Overall, bringing in a refugee to your house can be very beneficial. However, it is not for everyone, it is important to assess priorities and ensure one will have the time, space, energy, and resources to properly welcome people.
How to get started
If you think this could be a good opportunity for you, and have a home you can offer in Germany, you can join the Helfende Wände (Helping Walls) initiative to help refugees find accommodation: you can get started right away.
- You can also learn more about the practicalities of offering your home to refugees here.
- If hosting is not an option for you at the moment, you can also explore other ways to help such as becoming a volunteer.