By Swati Mehta Dhawan
The migrant and refugee journey in the search for safety and protection is fraught with worries and trouble. The pain of leaving home leaves a mark on everything they do. The road becomes home and interactions along the way morph into milestones. Each worry line, creases on the myriad documents, stamps on papers, they all mark a step closer to freedom and yet, the pain of each imprint shears at the thread that ties them to home. Life becomes a series of moments constantly in flux, only achieving stasis and calm once the road has ended. In this compendium of financial biographies, we get a glimpse of fifteen such journeys. These are journeys of people who fled their homes in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, and Somalia to seek refuge in Jordan. Some of them chose to come to Jordan, following friends and relatives who came before them. Others had the decision made for them by the human traffickers they paid to help them flee their home countries where they faced threats to their security.
This book aims to bring forth the struggles of refugees and their frustration with not being able to control their lives. As we map their financial journeys through these trials, we see how they find their courage and resilience in their hope for a better future. We hope that this book will allow you to look beyond the numbers in the news and beneath the assessments of humanitarian programmes, taking the extra step to understand the lived experiences of refugees and their aspirations for the future. With this perspective, we hope that each person can work in their own capacity to support refugees in their search for home.
The stories covered in the compilation in hand were collected as part of the research initiative “Finance in Displacement – Exploring and Strengthening Financial Lives of Refugees” (in short, the FIND project), a research partnership between the Catholic University Eichstätt Ingolstadt, the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and the International Rescue Committee. The project was facilitated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Over 2019 and 2020, the FIND team conducted original empirical research in Jordan and Kenya, to provide insights on how refugees and asylum-seeking households in urban settings manage their livelihoods and financial lives.
For questions please contact Kim Wilson at Kimberley.Wilson@tufts.edu.