Displaced foreigners need emotional support: activist

Displaced foreigners need emotional support: activist

Human Rights Activist and former Central Methodist Church Bishop, Paul Virain says the post-traumatic stress suffered by foreign nationals who were displaced by xenophobic violence needs to be urgently addressed.


Virain was speaking at the Diakonia AGM in Durban yesterday, after visiting a Cato Ridge farm that's provided shelter to some foreigners who were left destitute after the Chatsworth camp was shut down. 

During the 2008 attacks, Virain opened the doors of the Central Methodist church in Johannesburg to mostly Zimbabweans who needed a safe place. He says the scars of displacement run deep.

"Besides the baggage that they've carried from their nations they've been revisited with that same trauma in this place. I must ask you who do you think has the privilege of being able to journey into that place to begin to start breaking down the prisms of memory that destroy proper functioning," he said. 

(File photo)

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