Refugee – a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
Imagine being surrounded by chaos, disaster, and hatred on a daily basis. Although the circumstances aren’t ideal, it’s home. Now, imagine you’re forced out of your home, as a way to separate yourself from all of the negativity that surrounds you. If you don’t leave home you may possibly be killed. Now, you must pack up a small amount of your things, because there’s only so much that you can bring with you. You must organise your family so you’re all together (in the case that each of you has the privilege to leave), and you set out to travel hundreds of miles. Your journey consists of so much walking that you feet and back begin to hurt, something you can only try to ignore because you have to reach your final destination. You travel through various climates, various languages and experience mixed reactions from people around you. Prior to leaving, you knew the journey wasn’t going to be easy, but you figured it would be worth it. However, on the way you encounter unexpected situations; such as certain countries implementation on boarder controls as a way to lessen the flow of refugees and migrants. Now, you must take a different route to get to your endpoint. Ideally, you’re going through hell and hot water for a shot at happiness, peace, possibly prosperity. You’re aiming to obtain a better life for yourself and for the people you love. Finally, you arrive in the country that you must learn to call home, unsure if you’ll ever be able to return to your own. Depending where you decided to end, and which country decided to accept you, you’re either welcomed or face judgement upon your arrival. Either way, in some ways it still feels like the world is against you because of the way media portrays refugees, the way in which you are treated like a criminal, even after you have become a citizen of the country you traveled to, crappy living conditions and much more.This is only the surface reality of what a refugee experiences and the turmoil they go through to get to the countries in which they reside. Each person’s story is different. Each person has a different reason for why they fled, some faced death which others feared they be another innocent victim of the war surrounding them, and each person goes through different types of hell to reach their asylum. As someone who isn’t a refugee and does not personally know a refugee, it’s easy to ignore the troubles these people have faced and to take in the negative ways they are portrayed in media. In recent events, refugees have faced extreme discrimination within the U.K. as a result of Brexit. Many are being told to go back to where they came from because they are being labelled as “unwanted invaders,” “illegal immigrants,” a “burden” on taxpayers and much more. However, no nation is truly pure and we must educate ourselves on the reality that refugees face and have empathy in our hearts. The persecution is not okay. Fortunately, organisations such as You Press, a social enterprise, are focusing on educating people on the struggles and refugees, and migrants, face through their upcoming project: “Voices of the Displaced.” They aim to “Bring communities closer by shedding light on the challenges that refugees and migrants face.” A change must take place.
Photo: AFP/B.Kilic – UNHCR Website505 3 comments