This week is Refugee Week, and we have tried to think about the realities faced by refugees by listening to true stories told in innovative ways by people who understand the transformative power of empathy.
Day 1: Perspective of a child living in a camp
“We walked for days crossing the desert to Jordan.”
Day 2: Perspective of ordinary people faced with a global crisis on their doorstep
On Tuesday we hung out with some of our local heroes who explained what motivated them to take action.
“Because if I were in their shoes I would like to think someone would do it for me and my family.”
While Sarah agreed:
“What is going on is simply not OK… and we are not OK with this.”
Day 3: Understanding perspectives – tourists and refugees listen and talk on a Greek island
On Wednesday, we whisked you away to a beautiful Greek island and invited you to witness conversations between tourists and refugees. A simple (but very effective) way of showing how different it can be when people talk to each other, instead of about each other.
Day 4: Perspective of a parent of child in a safe school
On Thursday we looked at the refugee crisis from the perspective of parents with their children in safe schools (very local to us in Sevenoaks). Maria, a parent, struck us with these words,
“You may be surprised to know that a refugee looks exactly like me.” Amira, also a former refugee, said “One of the most important and precious things to do .. is to notice [refugees], remember they are like us and be interested in them.”
Day 5: Perspective of a person forced to choose what to take as they flee
Thank you for joining us throughout the week, and engaging with the questions we posed. We hope that – like us – you have been reminded why it is crucial to continue to watch and listen and act, and give voice to those who have none.
WANT TO DO SOMETHING: BE A FRIEND, CHOOSE SOLIDARITY.
We are also grateful that many of you have undertaken an act of solidarity by sending our Friendship from Syria Bracelet. These beautiful woven pieces serve as a reminder that friendship is perhaps the most important thing each of us can give.
Tomorrow is World Refugee Day. We are reminded again that people, just like us, flee their homes every single day – This does not change – today, tomorrow, or in the weeks, months and years to come.
So please keep noticing and talking. As Amira said, “Our attention to others is powerful.” – a message which is in itself empowering, and encourages us – in this time of intense crisis – to be more determined than ever to choose empathy and stand in solidarity with refugees.
#RefugeeWeek #SolidarityWithRefugees #ChooseEmpathy #LocalHeroes