Community involvement in neighbourhood regeneration: who participates?
Published on Dec 1, 2004
This article advocates volunteering as a means to integrate refugees and to give them experience that will help them overcome the barriers to employment. It draws on a recent study of refugee women’s volunteering. Refugee women participate in a wide range of voluntary activity, including ‘informal’ volunteering and work within refugee community organisations, refugee agencies and the wider voluntary sector. Volunteering represents an important means of social participation and contribution for refugee women, and can also serve as a meaningful alternative to paid employment. It can help refugee women to find work by giving them access to networks, information, advice and training, as well as by providing work experience and references. However, the transition into employment is rarely straightforward. Job opportunities in the voluntary and community sector are relatively limited, and refugees may still be disadvantaged in relation toother applicants. The article concludes by suggesting some ways in which organisations might reconsider their selection practices to ameliorate these disadvantages.