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An open letter to all who search security


I take into consideration you day-after-day.

I have no idea what it feels wish to be compelled from my house. I gained’t fake to know; I’ll in all probability by no means totally perceive. I’ve by no means contemplated what I might take with me. I can’t think about the anguish of dropping a toddler.

The perfect I can do proper now’s acknowledge my incapability to empathize. I’m not naïve. As a middle-aged white male in the USA, I’m privileged.

We’re a product of the selections we make day-after-day and, fortunately, I’ve by no means had to decide on between fleeing and combating. For a lot of, flight is struggle.

I’ve been to Ramallah. I’ve been to Akkar. I’ve been to Cox’s Bazar. I’ve been to Krakow and to Kathmandu. From Stung Meanchey to Bourj el-Barajneh, I’ve seen a number of issues. I nonetheless don’t know what to do. However I’ll hold making an attempt.

I’ve misplaced individuals I like. And most days I really feel unsure about tomorrow. However proper now, fortunately, I’ve a roof over my head.

I’ve seen individuals come collectively to assist each other throughout arduous occasions. It conjures up me.

It saddens me to put in writing this for World Refugee Day. One single solitary day the place we acknowledge the battle that confronts too many – each day. At this time, you’ll learn quite a lot of statistics. Statistics are vital, however they will’t shake your hand and look you within the eye.

I’m listening. I’ll do all the pieces I can to amplify what I hear. We’ll do higher. We should do extra.

Your youngsters ought to by no means must sacrifice their schooling for survival.

We’re all distinctive. We’re all totally different. Typically, I really feel prefer it’s the one factor we are able to agree on. However all of us have the identical primary wants. We’d like a secure place to sleep so we are able to relaxation simple. Alternative. Entry to data and schooling. The peace of thoughts that comes with realizing the place the closest hospital is and that you just’ll be handled there. We’d like respect. We have to respect ourselves and one another.

Don’t neglect. The headlines fade, however the want stays. Cliché, I do know. Our collective focus shifts continuously. And whereas our consideration is pulled in numerous instructions, a mother and pa sit in a tent settlement in northern Lebanon questioning how they’ll get the youngsters via this.

So, what can we do?

Discuss it. Leverage each software and useful resource out there. Navigate the politics. We are able to do higher. Let’s get artistic. Let’s get organized. Let’s decide to by no means giving up.


Joseph Harrison is a member of the Cisco Disaster Response (CCR) group. The group has lengthy centered on serving to susceptible populations – these unhoused or displaced by battle and pure disasters – meet their vital wants.

CCR companions with organizations which might be doing unbelievable work on the bottom, together with the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Worldwide Rescue Committee (IRC), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and the Hebrew Immigrant Help Society (HIAS). In case you are financially ready to take action, please think about donating to those organizations.

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