For Somali refugees, the life-changing transition to a new country can be daunting as they embark on an unfamiliar path. With little awareness of the new country’s language, culture, and customs, they must rapidly adjust to these differences while dealing with their unique daily hardships and struggles. This blog post will explore four common themes that many Somali refugees experience during the first six months in the United States.
1. Adjusting to the Weather
For Somali refugees, adjusting to the weather in the United States can be challenging. Moving from the African continent to a new home in the US brings many changes. The cold winters and hot summers can come as a shock, especially if they have not experienced this type of weather before. The Somali community in Columbus, Ohio, often has to invest in warmer clothing and blankets to survive the cold winter months. Fortunately, with guidance from local organizations and support from the community, Somali refugees can learn how to adjust to the weather in their new homes.
2. Dealing With Loneliness and Isolation
Loneliness and isolation can be overwhelming for Somali refugees who have just arrived in the US. Many do not know anyone and do not speak the language, leaving them feeling isolated and alone. This can lead to difficulty adjusting to their new lives and, in some cases, depression. Refugees need to make an effort to find support and social networks within their new community to help combat this feeling.
Community centers, churches, and refugee support organizations are great places to start.
3. Getting Used to American Food
For Somali refugees arriving in the US, food is often one of the most noticeable and difficult changes to adapt. For those settling in the Somali community in Columbus, Ohio, their traditional diet of camel meat, rice, and flatbreads is often replaced with a new array of options, from fast food to frozen meals. It can be a daunting adjustment for Somali refugees, who may not be familiar with some flavors and ingredients.
The best way to get used to American food is to start slowly by trying new dishes and experimenting with different flavors.
Transitioning to a new country can be especially difficult for Somali refugees, who often leave their families and friends behind. For many refugees, homesickness is strong, especially in their first six months in the United States. Refugees can cope with homesickness by connecting with the Somali community in Columbus, Ohio. This community can provide a sense of comfort and familiarity, as well as access to resources and support.
They can also get involved in volunteer activities or join Somali-focused social media groups to connect with other members of the community.
There are various struggles Somali refugees face in their first six months living in the United States. From adjusting to the weather to access to basic health needs, these newcomers to America’s soil often must start life anew with little support. With this in mind, we are reminded how important it is to ensure these individuals receive adequate aid as they begin their journey into what will ultimately become their home. To contribute to this mission, consider donating your resources and time to Somali Link Community. Together, we can ensure no one is left without hope or comfort during this difficult transition period.