Roots & Shoots Intern, Dominique Raboin, considers taking action to help the refugee crisis.
Although the mainstream media has turned their attention away from the displaced refugees in Europe, thousands of men, women and childrencontinue to leave their homes on a dangerous journey in hope of seeking asylum in a safer place.
The year 2014 saw 59.5 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, making 1 person in every 122 peopleeither a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. Syria is the world’s largest producer of internally displaced people and refugees seeking asylum, totaling 10.5 million people in 2014.Of the 59.5 million people forced to leave their homes due to unhealthy and unsafe living conditions, nearly half are children.
In honor of the UN International Day of Peace on September 21, Dr. Jane Goodallreleased a public call to action, asking anyone who feels compassion for the international refugees to not just wring their hands, but to actively help. How do we answer Dr. Jane’s urgent call to action? International crises are daunting, if not impossible, obstacles to face alone. The most efficient way to help is by working together. Here are some ideas on how you and your friends can make a difference:
- Become More Informed
The international refugee crisis extends beyond Europe and Syria into every region of the world. Such a highly complex situation requires us to be knowledgeable about cultural differences, political scenarios, and current events. Connect with your parents, approach your school, or explore ducational sourcesin order to become a more informed activist. Encourage your friends to join you while seeking more information.
- Develop a Local Partnership
With the guidance of an adult mentor, contact local institution who would be interested in helping your Roots & Shoots group educate the community about the refugee crisis. Ask community members to donate to your cause by holding a public auction, a bake sale, or a film screening. Your next Roots & Shoots campaign could locally raise awareness and funds for refugees around the world. The more community members that get involved, the bigger the impact!
- Collaborate for Change on a Larger Scale
Resource scarcity and time constraints often discourage groups from beginning daunting projects (such as campaigns with immense and powerful goals like alleviating the suffering of refugees). Rather than get discouraged, find an organization whose mission compliments your campaign! Use this example letter to a potential collaborator to start connecting your group with active organizations. Discussing your service learning campaign with others will encourage others to join you in your efforts!
The global refugee crisis can seem like an overwhelming challenge for a Roots & Shoots campaign, but nothing will start to get better if we never begin to try and help.As Dr. Jane Goodall said, “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”Imagine the difference that can be made if we collaborate our ideas, our information, and our recourses to work together for the good of displaced people everywhere.