By Heeba Chergui, Generations For Peace Communications Intern
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the first-ever World Refugee Day led by UNHCR, and the theme of this year’s World Refugee Day focuses on the power of inclusion, stating: Together we heal, learn, and shine.
2021 has shown us that refugees encapsulate the meaning of healing, learning, and shining, whilst remaining resilient through unimaginable challenges, such as resettling, migration, and internal displacement. Around the globe, at least 82.4 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Amongst them are nearly 26.4 million refugees, approximately half of whom are under the age of 18. Their difficult journeys have only been exacerbated by COVID-19.
The shared experience of the pandemic has reinforced that we will only succeed if we come and stand together. Refugees in particular have played a pivotal role in easing the hardships faced with COVID-19 whilst enduring their own struggles. In Jordan and around the world, Generations For Peace saw many of its own volunteers, who were also refugees, step up time and time again and look for ways to get involved and help protect their communities, including Heyam. Originally from Syria, Heyam was forced to flee to Jordan for her own safety but wasted no time getting involved in her new community. During the pandemic, Heyam led efforts in her local community to collect and distribute supplies to those in need.
We at Generations For Peace know that similar to Heyam, refugees, when given the chance, will continue to actively contribute to creating a safer, stronger, brighter, and more inclusive world. This is why we continue to invest our efforts in working with and supporting the refugee community; whether it is partnering with the Olympic Refuge Foundation to help refugees, displaced people, and host communities discover their potential through sport, launching our first-ever code-based peacebuilding programme Code for Jordan to engage Jordanian youth and Syrian refugees to gain practical knowledge and technical skills to address local issues, or raising awareness of the various issues that have resulted within Jordanian host communities as a result of the Syrian Refugee Crisis through our original, award-winning web series, Endline, we continue to seek ways to work with refugees and host communities to create safe environments for everyone to discover their full potential. You too can join the cause and get involved today.
Only by coming together and standing with refugees can we truly heal, learn, and shine.