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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Assiduous Exile: Strategies of Work and Integration among Liberian Refugees in Danane, Ivory Coast
Author:Utas, MatsISNI
Periodical:Liberian Studies Journal
Geographic term:Ivory Coast - Côte d'Ivoire
Subjects:social integration
Miscellaneous (i.e. Demography, Refugees, Sports)
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Labor and Employment
Ethnic and Race Relations
Abstract:This paper examines the situation of Liberian refugees in Danane, Ivory Coast. The Liberians do not live in a refugee camp, but are dispersed all over town. They have to pay their rent and most of their food by their own means. Work has become a necessary aspect of refugee life. The paper looks at the multitude of strategies that Liberian refugees have used to achieve requisite assets, including creativity; acquiring money from US relatives; small-scale commerce; agricultural and criminal activities; work in the service sector and the NGO business; and religious activities. Also, attention is paid to the place of origin of the refugees; their housing and ways of obtaining food; health care facilities; education and the language barrier; the importance of religion; violence and criminality; the organization of refugee life; gender differences; and salaries. Based upon this survey of working strategies the final part of the paper deals with the question of Liberian integration in the Ivorian host society. It appears that work in an all Liberian sphere holds a higher status among the refugees than work in the integrational sphere. This is partly for emotional reasons, but it is also due to the fact that the international donor community offers better payment for work in the Liberian sphere than can be earned working in the integrational sphere. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]