Academic department under which the project should be listed

Geography and Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Brandon D. Lundy

Project Type

Poster

Abstract (250 words maximum)

In 2015, there were 60 million people displaced by conflict and persecution. With refugees and asylees arriving en masse in foreign receiving countries, it is critical that host nations utilize methods of resettlement and integration that are both beneficial and sensitive to the needs of these vulnerable populations. This study documents an innovative win-win approach to community integration that benefits both hosts and refugees alike. Qualitative data was collected through more than 10 sessions of participant observation on community farms and more than 7 semi-structured interviews with program management and refugees to answer the question, what opportunities for these refugee growers is this project providing. Descriptive, exploratory research with the organization Global Growers demonstrated how refugee farmers presented with agricultural opportunities generated financial and food sustainability (i.e., improved livelihood) and improved their overall level of community integration (i.e., effective acculturation). The denouement of this research details one effective intervention toward refugee resettlement beneficial to all stakeholders. Using familiar lifestyles and communal programming smoothed refugee integration and improved overall livelihood and quality of life. Similar programs should validate this effective resettlement and acculturation approach sensitive to the diverse needs of these vulnerable populations.

 

Sowing Seeds of Opportunity: The convergence of agriculture and acculturation for refugees in Atlanta

In 2015, there were 60 million people displaced by conflict and persecution. With refugees and asylees arriving en masse in foreign receiving countries, it is critical that host nations utilize methods of resettlement and integration that are both beneficial and sensitive to the needs of these vulnerable populations. This study documents an innovative win-win approach to community integration that benefits both hosts and refugees alike. Qualitative data was collected through more than 10 sessions of participant observation on community farms and more than 7 semi-structured interviews with program management and refugees to answer the question, what opportunities for these refugee growers is this project providing. Descriptive, exploratory research with the organization Global Growers demonstrated how refugee farmers presented with agricultural opportunities generated financial and food sustainability (i.e., improved livelihood) and improved their overall level of community integration (i.e., effective acculturation). The denouement of this research details one effective intervention toward refugee resettlement beneficial to all stakeholders. Using familiar lifestyles and communal programming smoothed refugee integration and improved overall livelihood and quality of life. Similar programs should validate this effective resettlement and acculturation approach sensitive to the diverse needs of these vulnerable populations.