A new model

This new model envisions refugees working together towards places of hope and transformation.

This table maps and contrasts current negative scenarios that face refugees, *IDPs, and concerned governments with a new approach that invests in and facilitates positive connections between people and place.

It shows that holding refugees as aliens and halting all social, educational, community and land development only perpetuates uncertainty, desperation, and violence and costs to the earth; whereas an approach that recognises and values people as essentially resourceful, cooperative, and enterprising, and seeks to empower them through teaching/building sustainable community and land skills, can have huge social and environmental benefit and solve problems on all levels.

*IDPs = Internally Displaced People.

Current scenariosOutcomesNew model: investment in people and placeExpected outcomes Expected benefits
Refugee internment camps, closed settlementsPeople are held in limbo, uncertain transitions, all social inputs stop, schooling is sporadic /sparse and culture breaks down.Settlements that allow for purposeful transitions. The culture of migration is supported by new models and strategies; new ways of being, learning, and livelihoods. People participate in building their own communities in relation to host communities.Opportunities for refugees to regroup, rethink their futures, and form self-sufficient communities. Host communities adjust to refugees through positive connections.New connections create cultural richness, and expanded sense of community.
Unclear policy/plan for resettlementLiving in limbo provokes risk-taking and desperate acts to take control of one's life, through illegal border crossing and people-smuggling leaving people vulnerable to drug trafficking, terrorism, gang warfare/mentality, domestic violence and prostitution. Haphazard band-aid measures create black-holes in funding and missed opportunities.Policies and plans for staged migration that provide sanctuary, new community connections and opportunities for retraining. The new model embraces permaculture design integrated with renewable energy systems.

Crime minimisation. People become engaged in community enterprises that stimulate and strengthen local economies, and give refugees hope and direction.Growth of localism, abundance, land and community regeneration for enduring futures.
Border walls / 'fortress' systemsExacerbated racism. Fear and desperation. Unnecessary anguish.Staged migration, entry varies depending on country. More productive transition/processing centres that allow for ongoing education and workskills training.Border security and management that allows for self governance, consensus by the community, and food production. Accredited competencies/qualifications for easier transitions into Europe.Human dignity and mental health maintained through activities that respect both people and land, and promote community engagement.
Current scenariosOutcomesNew model: investment in people and placeExpected outcomesExpected benefits
Poor integration into host communities, illegal squats/ housing issues, homelessness, joblessnessPossibilities of cross-communal violence, precarious lifestyles, begging on the streets, depression, starvation, and disease.Eco-cities and villages in strategic locations, that are self-governing and integrate with existing host communities of diverse age groups, capacities and cultures.Positive connection with place of arrival and host communities. Building positive relationships through mutual exchanges.Migration flows are anchored in a purposeful way, and seen as having positive benefits such as revitalising waning communities in host countries.
Conflict zonesTraumatised people, hopelessness, desperate measures extended trauma, carried through generationsPeace-building programs and workshops.Peace-building communities. Re-education, conflict resolution. Trauma and torture are addressed. Healing.Building community and inter-community relationships through common projects and exchanges.
Impoverished host economies Disconnection from the land and heritage, loss of identity and community, resistance to inevitable migration, fear, racism.Incorporate traditional designs, new and old technologies, permaculture strategies to reduce waste.Thriving self-sufficient communities. New town designs that maximise assets and existing resources.Empowering families and communities through self-sufficiency.
Current scenariosOutcomesNew model: investment in people and place.Expected outcomesExpected benefits
Degraded landDesertification, loss of habitat and biodiversity
Anti-desertification programs, networks of compact eco-friendly cities and towns, anti-desertification programs.Climate adaptive communities that co-evolve with extreme weather.Women involved in work-based programs, in food production, food domes, etc. Paid workforce to stop desertification and enhance biodiversity.
Climate change, rising seas, water shortages, droughts, extreme weather eventsLoss of livelihood, homes destroyed, regional conflict, civil wars, disease and starvation Eco-villages, eco-learning demonstration centres, partnering with local communities.Opportunities for settlement in new sustainable communities, skills and labour exchange, development of eco-technologies, wind and water capture and storage.Carbon sequestration, renewable energies, slowing of damage, repair of land, increased biodiversity, greater abundance, shared knowledge and understanding of whole earth systems.

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