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An Explanation of Refugee Status

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Author+Tony+Sindano
Author Tony Sindano

Author Tony Sindano

Josh Parker

Josh Parker

Author Tony Sindano

The dictionary definition of a refugee is someone who left his or her country because it was unsafe to live there and then became displaced internally or externally because of the danger. Refugees end up moving to a new country for refuge; hence the name refugee. Not all refugees are able to move to a new country. Many remain in camps. At Cottonwood High School, there are refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and other parts of the world. Walking down the hallway of the school, I hear different languages and different stories of students and their families who have come to America. I moved from South Africa to America in 2014. As a 15-year-old, it was a hard transition moving to a new country, but I don’t regret my decision.

There are organizations set up to help refugees receive aide as they start their new lives. There are food pantries, clothing donations, and job opportunities available. There are other organizations that send aide abroad to countries in need, such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people. UNCHR was founded on December 14, 1950, by the United Nations. There are other organizations that aim to help refugees such as International Volunteer HQ, Global Vision International, International Rescue Committee, and Catholic Community Services. These organizations want to support other refugees who do not have enough education, food, or even places to sleep.

One of my friends, Emri traveled to Lebanon during February 2017 to volunteer to help Syrian and Iraqi refugees at a refugee camp.There are a lot of refugees in Lebanon due to the Syrian War. ISIS is trying to overtake the country of Syria, and at the same time, the Syrian Government is also attacking its people causing a civil war to break out.  The result is that millions of Syrian citizens have lost their homes, their jobs, and their schools. Consequently, they have fled to surrounding countries, such as Lebanon, for safety.

Emri went to places like Beirut and the Bekaa Valley. She taught English to the refugee children at a local school. Many children lose their parents because of war. She was able to visit an orphanage and play with the children. Her volunteer duties also included helping families with blankets, clothes, food, water, and other necessities. “It was a good experience,” said Emri. “It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I was able to help others’ lives become better and see them happy no matter the conditions. It also made me realize how important it is to reach out and help those who are struggling and not be selfish” she added.

She was scared to go to Lebanon because she had to pass through Syria. Emri took a risk to go to Lebanon knowing she might get hurt, but despite this, she made a decision to go. She had a lot of courage to take that trip to Lebanon.

If you put your mind to something, it does not matter how many challenges come your way. You have to see it through.

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An Explanation of Refugee Status