SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
Across the Arab States, humanitarians have been making real change in peoples’ lives, whether on the frontlines in conflict-ridden contexts or within their own communities.
It takes two hours to cover the 60 kilometers between Batouri, the capital of the Kadey department to the Lolo refugee site. Near the border with the Central African Republic (CAR) in the commune of Kentzou, the camp hosts a population of over 13,000 refugees from CAR. Fleeing a war-torn country, these vulnerable communities, predominately Muslims, settled at the site from the beginning of 2014.
I quickly discovered that the mission is a mosaic of diverse characters facing unique challenges and chasing different dreams. For example, in my role as UN Volunteer Public Information Officer, I hoped to use my writing to highlight the collective challenges, as well as accomplishments, of a nascent nation like South Sudan to a global audience. But I never really considered what I was doing as humanitarian work.
“Some people begin to see refugees as numbers — or even worse, as threats,” says Anja Ingabire, a UN volunteer with UNHCR in Jordan. “Behind each refugee there are personal stories of loss and tragedy. Every story is unique and touches you in a different way. It is the person who makes the story.”
As we sit on our comfortable couches at home and watch TV or read articles about refugees in areas of crisis or conflict, it is easy to become desensitized to the plight of this most vulnerable demographic.
Liliia Huzeieva, 22, will never forget the summer of 2014. Just a teenager at the time, Liliia was forced to leave her hometown of Donetsk shortly before the armed conflict escalated in the Donbass region of Ukraine.
“The hardest part was not only losing my home, but also being separated from part of my family,” Liliia says. “My father decided to stay in Donetsk as he didn’t want to leave, so I don’t see him anymore.”
This displacement motivated Liliia to seek the good in an otherwise tragic situation by resolving to help others who faced similar adversities.