The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) report states that the projected number of people in need of resettlement in 2017 will surpass 1.19 million. Syrians are projected to account for 40% of this population needs, followed by Sudan (11%), Afghanistan (10%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (9%). HCT/CircusAid addresses the social and environmental impact of war on displaced people by creating health equity for refugees within camps and newly assimilated communities. Many countries do not have political structures that support immigration. Due to our flexible approach this obstacle does not inhibit our ability to provide aid .
The refugee experience can be an uncertain, lengthy and juxtaposed breeding ground for mental instability and illness. What happens when life is unstable and we have nothing to occupy our minds? We worry. We ruminate about the past and project into the uncertain future. This activity inevitably deteriorates our mental health and motivation to move forward. Research in occupational science literature supports the claim that occupational deprivation breaks down the spirit. Occupational deprivation is not boredom, boredom is a choice. The refugee crisis has resulted in people being deprived of the activities and roles that give their life meaning.
“The journey to resettlement is overshadowed by political barriers that are not conducive to meeting occupational needs...for professionals working in this area or designing such support programs, it is imperative that opportunities are capitalized upon despite the delimiting factors within the political context.” - Suleman and Whiteford, 2013
Research illustrates occupational deprivation results in mental health issues. Social circus can provide an outlet which results in increased resilience and community connection. We all know children need to play for healthy development. We forget adults need to play too, especially during this time of vulnerable redevelopment.