[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.27.4″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]I have never been to Africa.
Yet what I have seen of it I will never forget.
A few months ago, I joined the i-ACT team to help manage the many hours of documentary footage the team has shot on trips to the refugee camps in Chad. I’m not sure what I expected to see when I clicked the first video clip to begin this adventure. There are, of course, many stereotypes of pitiable figures swathed in flies and filth. Was this what I would find?
The first clip I played was an aerial shot out the window of a plane – the camp from afar. It was still cold and unrelatable, this foreign land.
Then I dug in to the footage of the faces, the individuals, the refugees themselves. I was entranced by the simple beauty of the women’s scarves expertly wrapped about them and set against the ruddy landscape. I became familiar with many of the friends my teammates have made in their many trips to the camps – the teachers fighting for better salaries and better materials, the charismatic leaders championing for their people. The children are vibrant, and in their eyes they possess hope, resilience, aspiration, and joy. They want nothing more than what we all want: a better life, safety, opportunity – and most of all, the right to pursue these things for themselves. I found myself moved to tears by the simple things I never knew; the things I never give a second thought to in my own life.
There is a beauty to this tragic tale. I do not mean to romanticize it, for their lives are not pretty. Food, medical care, and school books are in short supply. Families have been brutally ripped apart. Yet the human spirit endures. It is evident in their eyes.
As I work with my teammates to help share the stories of the Darfuri refugees – I am reminded that each of us on earth are the collective authors of the story of humanity. We owe it to one another to write the best ending possible.
Jordan Rae Lake [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]