Did you know that more than 68 million people have been forced to flee their homes in the last year alone? This means that someone was displaced every two seconds.
A few days ago, World Refugee Day (Wednesday, 20 June) was heralded with an announcement of a grim new statistic by the UN:
That for the fifth year in a row, forced displacement has reached a new high.
Take a moment to think about what that means — about what that would mean for you if you had to suddenly leave everything you’ve ever known behind.
What would you take with you? How would you start over? How would you support yourself and your family?
Residents living at Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp (KJSRC) in northern Thailand have very few opportunities to earn a living and are dependent on the food support we provide to feed their families.
Without that support, the little money they earn would have to go towards food only, leaving nothing extra for other necessities like healthcare, education, clothing, transportation, or savings for emergencies.
In order for their family to survive, migrant and refugee households often have no choice but to send their children out to work. These children then spend long days working, usually doing unskilled agricultural labour, rather than attending school, playing with friends, or just being a kid. These children then have little chance of going to school or ever leaving poverty behind.
Children begin learning soon as they’re born, which means that early childhood lays the foundation for their health, education, and productivity for the rest of their life. However, refugee children rarely have access to education – only 50% of all refugee children are in primary school, and only half of that number – 25% – make it to secondary school.
When deprived of normal childhood development through school and play, and often lacking proper nutrients and access to healthcare, it has a lifelong affect on their life, their health, and their future earning potential. Every experience a child has during these early years has a long-term impact on their life, whether good or bad.
You can help make sure those experiences are good.
Show that you are #WithRefugees by supporting the work done by us as well as many others to help the world’s most vulnerable community: refugees.