I went to a summer camp to Bergen, Norway, last year. And while I was in there, I learned about refugees. It was actually not a term I am familiar with, but learning about them, and meeting two of them in person in the camp taught me a lot of things.
plural noun: refugee
a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
It is not a big thing in Indonesia apparently, because we are lucky enough to be in a safe zone with no war currently, but it may be different from other countries like Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, etc.
I remember meeting a refugee from Syria in the camp. He was a very nice guy, and he has been separate from his family all his life. He didn’t remember who they are, as he moved to Norway alone as a little kid. When I met him, he was living in a refugee camp that the Norwegian government provided for people who had to escape their countries because of war.
There are actually problems caused by this, because a lot of developed countries which accepted these refugees started to see some economic problems. They need money to take care of this people, but technically these refugees are not their citizens. Even more and more refugees are coming each year, and it started to get overwhelming for them.
Not only for the money, but also the places to shelter them. Refugee camps need a quiet big space to keep a lot of people, while the government also need the places maybe to build something else for the people.
These refugees have to wait for a lot of years to get their asylum, and there is a very big chance for them to get rejected. After that, the only option for them is to leave the host country.
While waiting for the asylum to come out, it will be very hard for them to find jobs, to go to school, hospitals, etc. And don’t even mention about them having to get comfortable in a totally new environment. To live in a society that may be judging them based on the country they are trying so hard to leave.
Not only that, they also have language barriers with them.
They feel like they do not belong. The countries they are suppose to grow up in, safely, are now damaged. And they are growing up in a developed, totally new country, that doesn’t seem to accept them. I have no idea how that must feel, but even to imagine it makes me so sad.
I remember that in the camp, we had this group discussion about what we should do to them. What can we do to help them. Some of my friends said that we should all donate together, even those whose country does not have any refugee camps. We were trying to find a way out to solve this problem for these refugees.
Today, when I was surfing the internet, I found this link in the bottom part of the desktop. It was an ad, made by The UN Refugee Agency together with Google to spread awareness about refugees in Syria.
You see that purple-colored words? Yes, it appeared when I opened Google Chrome. When you click it, it will take you to a very interesting website which will educate a lot of people, especially teenagers like me!
You can help the refugees in three ways:
- By sharing it to your social media platforms, or writing it down in your blog like what I did right now, to spread awareness to a lot of people that things like this is happening across the globe and we need to finally take actions for it. The website will let you directly sharing it to your Facebook and Twitter account, also giving you a direct link to copy.
- By donating for these refugees. You can donate monthly or just one time with the amount you want. https://donate.unhcr.org/int-en/searching-syria. Everytime you type in an amount, they will show you how that money can help the refugees. For example, when you donate 50$, you could provide synthetic mats to prevent five newly arrived families every month from sleeping on the ground. It is hosted by WorldPay.
- By joining and take pledge to support the refugees and stand #WithRefugees. All you have to do is fill a form where they will ask for your name, your country, and email. http://www.unhcr.org/join/
The website is very interactive and educating. Reading this and remembering about the story he told me back in the camp made me feel grateful to be born in this country. Despite the others things that has been happening in our country for the past days, the hatred, the bombing in Kampung Melayu, the caning in Aceh, I still do believe we can do better.
We have and will always have hope. We deserve to always have one.
And after all, these refugees do, too.