Definitions Xeno meaning “strangeness” or “foreignness” Phobia meaning “fear of” Xenophobiameans an unreasonable fear, distrust, or hatred of strangers, foreigners, or anyone perceived as foreign or different.
Vocabulary Immigrant: a person who migrates to another country, usually for permanent residence. Refugee: a person who flees for refuge or safety, esp. to a foreign country, as in time of political upheaval, war, etc. Asylum seeker: A foreigner, already in a receiving nation, who seeks refuge, claiming an inability or unwillingness to return to the home country because of a well-founded fear of persecution. Orphan: The United Nations defines an orphan as a child who has lost one (simple) or both parents (profound). Because in the developing world so many fathers are absent, when a mother dies, the children left behind are vulnerable. Abandon: to leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; desert.
Priscilla’s Orphans Priscilla is a resident of Guguletu who recognized a need in her community.She opened her home to these orphans.
Harry Potter Reference Harry Potter fans should note J. K. Rowling’s brilliance in naming one of her characters“XenophiliusLovegood”—the newspaper publisher who has a “philia” or “love of” rather than a “phobia” or “fear of” difference. Pictured here is Luna Lovegood, daughter of XenophiliusLovegood, as seen in the movies Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Why is Xenophobia taking place? South Africa is experiencing unemployment rates nationwide of about 40%. This is a rate which soars to as high as 70% in “coloured” and “black” areas. Some South Africans are afraid that people from other countries are taking “their” jobs.
Why is Xenophobia taking place? Last year, tensions exploded when perceptions circulated that “foreigners” were taking jobs that could go to South Africans. Violence broke out in areas of South Africa. It seems to come down to a lack of equitable distribution of resources to all groups of people.
How do you combat Xenophobia? Educate, educate, educate. Provide opportunities for people of different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds to interact with one another positively. Meet individuals from foreign lands as human beings, and listen attentively to their stories. Study about why people of different nationalities are coming to South Africa. What conditions/situations are they leaving, and why? Research to find organizations that are working against xenophobia, and volunteer to contribute to their mission.
Are there organizations in South Africa to counter Xenophobia? The Scalabrini Center is a Catholic-based organization that welcomes immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers into the Cape Town region of South Africa. They provide food, clothing, and blankets to newcomers. They also offer training in English, computers, and life skills. The Lawrence House is a home for orphaned and abandoned refugee children.
Father Scalabrini, founder of the Scalabrini Order
Is the Vrudny family contributing to the work of Scalabrini? Yes, we have been working at the Scalabrini Center, serving food in the soup kitchen to immigrants and homeless people. Each person coming in for a hot meal must pay R0.50 (equal to about $0.06). Asking the people to pay a small fee enables the people to maintain their dignity and self worth. It is hard for many to accept a handout for absolutely nothing. Yes, we have been working in the Lawrence House each Saturday evening, preparing a meal for the 16 residents of the house. We arrive around 4:00, make the meal, visit and play with the children. We leave around 6:00. The residents eat at 7:00.