Crossing the Border: Voices of Refugee and Exiled Women

Edited by Jennifer Langer
Five Leaves Publications
ISBN 0907123 63 5

Eighty per cent of the world’s refugees are women and
understanding their experiences is essential to social work
practice with them.

Crossing the Border is an anthology of prose and poetry by
women refugees about their experiences and the writers’ diverse
styles give a personal insight into their worlds. Some of the
writing is gentle and refined, some rough and raw. This multitude
of expression highlights the different ways to articulate the worst
experiences imaginable.

Reading this one is left with a huge sense of the loss, horror and
powerlessness these women have experienced, but the book also shows
the power of the pen in resisting and coming to terms with what has
happened to them. Equally, one feels shamed by the behaviour of
some of the host countries’ citizens.

Above all, one shares the writers’ mourning for the personal things
that form people’s daily experiences – buses in Sarajevo, homemade
pickles, the smell of jasmine and “oranges glowing like

Crossing the Border won’t explain how to be a social
worker with women refugees. But if you want to know why, read

Neil Bateman is performance manager, Connexions Suffolk,
and a former lead officer on refugee issues, Suffolk


More from Community Care

Comments are closed.