On World Refugee Day: Let’s make our Actions Count!

This World Refugee Day we see where we can make a difference.

A Year of Challenges

The year 2020 has been full of unexpected adventures- to say so mildly. Not only did it carry a ‘series of unfortunate events’, to borrow the title of the series on Netflix, but it has amounted to issues of such magnitude that would make any “Hitchcock” movie seem like a light comedy.

An unseen virus has brought the whole world to a standstill; demonstrations have followed the shocking news of the murder of George Floyd and conflicts around the world have become more vicious with a dramatic increase in the number of people fleeing their war-torn countries in fear for their lives. 

We can’t Despair

At times like this many of us may be overcome by a feeling of despair. The magnitude of events feels overwhelming and nothing that we do seems to make a difference in the long run. We have tried to make a difference. We have donated our money and time to help those who are hit the hardest. We have joined protests, written letters, and expressed our condemnation of injustices and inequality. We have advocated for a better life for those who have known nothing but hardship. Yet we fail to see the results of our hard work. 

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Every Action Counts

This is why I found the 2020 United Nations theme for World Refugee Day to be uplifting. “Every Action Counts” conveys to us that our collective individual actions are prone to make a difference. It is the accumulation of little droplets that eventually fill the bucket. Our actions may not end the crisis, but when we work together anything will be possible. 

World Refugee Day stands as a reminder to all of us that the global refugee crisis is far from over. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), at least 79.5 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. Among them are nearly 26 million refugees, around half of whom are under the age of 18. 

The Work Continues

Almost 80 million people are still suffering the pain of being expelled from their homelands. And then COVID-19 tagged along to add insult to injury. Without access to basic hygiene and sanitation facilities, refugees remain at a very high risk of catching diseases. The dense population rate contributes to the spreading of diseases like wildfire among the inhabitants of refugee camps. 

We might not have the answers to all these problems but we must continue our work and support those who found themselves in a situation of no fault of their own. We must continue to raise our voices to help those who cannot be heard and spread awareness about their plight and suffering. We must continue our small deeds and have faith that change will happen and that our small droplets of contributions will fill the bucket eventually. But most importantly, we need to make our actions count!

And as Albert Einstein once said: “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”
For more information on IRUSA’s work on refugees please visit our website at: https://irusa.org/aid-for-refugees

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