As iACT reflects on World Refugee Day, we find ourselves continually coming back to our founder Gabriel Stauring’s call to put a face to the numbers and “make it personal.”
The current conflict in Sudan weighs heavy on our hearts. If you have been paying attention to the news, you are likely seeing a lot of numbers and statistics flying by.
Internally Displaced: 1,670,991
Refugees and Asylum Seekers: 474,390
Refugees crossing into Chad: 115,980
So often, in the midst of wars and mass displacements, we begin to focus on numbers like these; on statistics, flows, influxes, crises. As we do so, we can forget the people they represent. Especially in a case like Sudan, where the scale is so large, and the conflict is escalating so quickly, it is easy to get lost in the statistics, and forget that each number is a person, just like you and me.
We forget the mothers, the fathers, the children, the aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers, the grandparents. We forget that behind those numbers and labels, refugees are people just like us. The only difference is that they have experienced something incredibly traumatic that has caused them to be displaced from their home.
As our former executive director Katie-Jay Scott always reminded us, “refugee camps are full of doctors, they’re full of community organizers, they’re full of teachers and midwives and people who’ve had experience. They’ve just gone through a horrific experience themselves.”
On this World Refugee Day, we ask you to look beyond the statistics and labels. Embrace people displaced from their homes in their full humanity.
Directly support iACT’s community-led response in Chad, enabling our team members to meet with new arrivals, learn about their needs, invite children into iACT programs, and explore opportunities to reach more children.
Keep an eye on our social media accounts for video messages from our friends in the refugee camps in eastern Chad. Listen to their stories. Hear their messages to the world. Find us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.