#refugeeswelcome in parks promotes the benefits of initiatives that embed one or all of the following aims:
1/ increase autonomy.
Refugees and asylum seekers often have very constrained life circumstances, in which the opportunity to make their own choices and pursue their own goals is very reduced. These initiatives can increase confidence in order to make well informed choices about where to go in a city or town.
2/ Support respite
Many refugees and asylum seekers live with poor mental health, and all are adjusting to ‘finding their feet’ and their own sense of being and belonging in a new cultural context. Respite (as potentially provided by outdoor places and activities) can be about peaceful relaxing, the enjoyment of taking part in familiar activities, or the pleasure of doing something you do well.
3/ use and build on social networks.
Most initiatives are supported by (and in turn support) social relationships. The human to human element is important: both between organisations and refugees and asylum seekers, and within the friendship networks of new arrivals.