Africa has a huge refugee crisis on its hands.Crises in Sudan,Congo,Somalia,Mali and a host of other nations have led to a swell in refugee numbers.Tens of thousands of Africans have become refugees in various countries within the continent.
Many are fleeing from wars,disasters and political unrest,while some are migrating for economic reasons.The irony of the situation that now confronts most of these displaced men,women and children is, they are discovering too late that the situation in some of their host nations is far worse than what they left behind at home.
Understandably,many aid agencies are working to ameliorate conditions in refugee camps,but there is still a yawning gap to fill.There are thousands of victims that are living on the fringes.A good percentage of these fringe victims are are economic migrants who got stuck in North and West African countries en route to Europe to seek greener pastures.A visit to Niger,Mali,Libya and Morocco would give you an insight into the sub-human conditions that these people are exposed to.Many have been reduced to street beggars while some women have been forced into prostitution for survival.
The situation has also led to the emergence and proliferation of criminal gangs who resort to heinous organised crimes such as drug peddling,internet scams,armed robbery,kidnapping,human trafficking and prostitution rings.Stories abound of blood feuds between rival gangs,the use of extreme violence and deaths.
Thousands of lives have also been lost at sea and in the Sahara desert as people try to flee Africa for Europe.Destinies have been truncated.It is sad to note that multitudes are still caught up in this vicious net with no immediate or future prospect of getting out.
Our refugee work is primarily focussed on these marginal groups.We provide material aid and counselling to victims.Via our Travel Advisory Service we try to discourage them from taking the dangerous sea journey to Europe and point them to opportunities for rehabilitation in Africa or to travel through legal channels for legitimate purposes.
We need clothing and humanitarian supplies for these people.Volunteers are also needed to work directly on the field with victims.
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