My company of employment hosted a coat drive for refugees during the Christmas season. Once the coats were collected I got to help participate in the delivery. We went to the subsidized housing complex and knocked on doors looking for any new arrivals who were brought to our wintry desert without coats. We were invited into one apartment by a couple with two children dressed in their native attire looking fit for summer though it was 40 degrees outside. The apartment had no furnishings and the only possessions were some toys and blankets that had been donated. They spoke no English so we exchanged smiles and gestures, sorted through the coats, and helped them find anything that would fit.
Since then the most pressing thing on my mind was that they had nothing to do. It would be some time before either parent would be able to find employment and that would be hampered until they could learn the language. Refugees are far from uneducated or unskilled. So if one thing was going to wear them down its having no way to even employ themselves.
So one idea I think that needs doing is skills based kits. Here are just a few I conjured up:
Refugee Enrichment Kits
· Derby car kit
· Model kit
· Carving kit: chisels/hammer, wood (drop cloth)
· general tool kit
Music (Some of these can be purchased at a dollar store)
· Stick guitar (home made?)
(Need more ideas for men's kits I feel like this list is deficient for them)
For those of us with skills in any of these areas we would know exactly what they would need to get started, where to get them cheep, and we could create or find basic illustrated how-to instructions.
No organization, I think, could cover a wide variety of kits like this with enough expertise and resources, but individuals taking on one or two and nurturing it as a personal project over time could assemble something rather impressive.
On a side note, I noticed that women generally have a lot of purses collecting in their houses or go through them pretty regularly. I think used purses could make for good containers for some of these kits provided they were clean and in fair condition. Promotional totes and lunch boxes also seem to accumulate and those would serve for this function well too.
Feeling inspired yet?
If you have good kit ideas to add to this list please comment. If you can provide a comprehensive plan for any single kit please share or write a post as a guest blogger so others can use it for inspiration.