When we as a community discuss problems in society that need solving there are many that come to mind; education, hunger, homelessness, and a hundred others that could be listed. There’s one problem in our global community that ties many of these other problems together: refugees. Facts such as 43 million refugees worldwide (that’s nearly the size of New York and Texas combined); and 41% of those people are under the age of 18. 11% of those are under the age of 5.
But that’s just something to tug at your heartstrings, isn’t it? Those facts and figures don’t really bring home what
kind of crisis we’re dealing with, does it? A number isn’t a person, it’s a statistic. The Abdullah’s from Mogadishu, Somalia. Those are people. And their story is heartbreaking. Four years ago, Omar and Khadija fled from the violence in their homeland to Sudan, then to Libya, and now to Tunisa.
Their daughter, Rayan, was sick and the couple unable to support her, so they sent her back to Mogadishu to live with her grandmother. Their story is fraught with danger, hunger, frustration, and violence. But those things aren’t the central theme. Hope is. The hope for a better life, wherever that may be.
You can be a part of that hope. USA For The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (USA for UNHCR) has launched The Blue Key Campaign. For just five dollars, you can make a difference in the lives of people like the Abdullah’s, and get a nifty Blue Key Pendant to wear to show your support for this cause.
When you think of refugees, don’t allow the horror of their situations be what defines them. What defines them is what defines all of us; the hope for a better life and the struggle to attain it. Please check out The Blue Key Campaign blog, the USA for UNHCR’s YouTube channel, consider the five dollar donation to the cause and changing your avatar on Twitter or Facebook to the Blue Key leading up to World Refugee Day on June 20th.
Generally speaking, I’ve never been a fan of the city of St. Louis. I could go into the reasons, but frankly, right now, it’d be neither funny nor appropriate. An F-4 tornado ripped through the city on Friday night, devastating parts of St. Louis. The part you know the most about is Lambert International Airport, but entire neighborhoods were leveled. Tweets about the destruction were a constant in my feed all weekend.
My good friend Justin Goldsborough wants to help St. Louis get back on its feet, so he’s started a campaign to raise money for the relief effort there. I could try and duplicate his eloquent post about it, or I could just link you to it and encourage you to give. Since I’d fail miserably at the former, I’ll do the latter.