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The Struggle of a Somali Kiwi

by Mohamud Farah (Dulyadeyn)
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

New Zealand is a vision of beauty and home to 4.7 million Kiwis with 7,000 Somali Kiwis making up that total. The Somali Kiwis have found it difficult to integrate themselves into the New Zealand culture and society, especially recent Somali immigrants.

The Somali immigrants are facing a host of issues, from unable to find proper housing, inability to land a job, to their children not being able to find a place for themselves among the community, causing them to feel left out.

This has led to the Somali community to move from New Zealand to Australia. Even though the country welcomed them with open arms, embracing them to join other residents, the Somali Kiwis still decided to move to Australia, a move that was a result of several factors.

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First, they have culturally extended families with an average family having seven kids, but others having 10 to 15 kids, which is not the norm in New Zealand, but is in Somalia. Second, the monthly rent for living in New Zealand is expensive. Third, the houses in the country are not meant to hold seven or more people, thus they have trouble finding a home with enough bedrooms for all the members of the family.

However, this is not to say that all are fleeing to Australia, as most still call New Zealand their new home. The remaining Somali Kiwis are trying to make the best out of their life in the country. Unfortunately, the unavailability of proper housing also prevents them for partaking in their community, which is one of the main reasons we see them leaving for other countries.

In addition to these problems, unemployment has also become a significant problem for them. Most of them are jobless. In contrast, the Somali immigrants in the United States are very active in their community. The reason for this stark difference between Somali immigrants living in the United States and New Zealand is the country’s immigration policy and its unwelcoming culture, which needs to change.

The government of New Zealand needs to act to amend their immigration policy, so it does not lose immigrants they have invested so much on to other countries. This will allow Somali Kiwis to maintain their identity while still being part of the culture and society of New Zealand.

Mohamud Farah (Dulyadeyn)
Email: [email protected]

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