Being flexible:

  • Volunteers should keep in mind that refugees are coming from a place of tremendous loss, stress and trauma. Volunteers should allow this mindset to determine expectations for refugees. Sometimes volunteers are surprised when refugees are not happy with WRD as an agency, or that working with refugees is not pretty, or that refugees can be thankless. Do not forget refugees' past stories and experiences, and the hard places from which they emerge. 
  • Volunteers are to be encouraged against disillusionment. Sometimes the reality of working with refugees is completely different than the anticipated expectations. 
  • Volunteer must be flexible when working with the refugee population. Inevitably, things will not go smoothly. 
  • Volunteers should expect bumps in the road and be okay with those.
    • For example: A volunteer and a refugee have plans to meet up at 3 p.m. When a volunteer arrives at the refugee's apartment at 3 p.m., the refugee is not there. The volunteer waits around and the refugee never shows up. It turns out the refugee misunderstood the original plan, and thought it was 3 p.m. the next day.