Alex, a native of Burundi, is currently living in Uganda, a refugee. Here you'll catch a glimpse of a young man articulate and kind hearted, even after the violence he has suffered.
A friend of mine asked me what this DAY signifies to me...
Today is not just another day when I get to hear about stories of refugees. Today is not another day when I get to read reports or articles of the UNHCR about refugees or asylum seekers.
Today is another day when I am reminded of the sad truth that I personally experienced as a teenager and now growing into it. About 70.8 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their home countries due to war, conflict and persecution and about 30 million of them are under the age of 18 (UN Refugee Agency). It is real, the world is terribly suffering.
Today, am reminded of the day I had to take a bus alone for 20 hours straight leaving my family and everything I knew, to save my life. I crossed two borders in freezing cold weather, arrived in a foreign country and applied for asylum (a term that I had heard only in Movies back then).
Today am reminded of the future I would have had.
Today I am reminded that the last time I saw my mother was 5 years ago.
Today, I am reminded that I am a REFUGEE.
But am also reminded that I wasn't born one and that at a certain point in time some people made me become one.
Today, I am reminded that the WORLD is what it is because of YOU & I. The decisions we make, the things we do, the commitments we make TODAY affect our neighbors, our friends and the world at large.
Today, I am reminded of the millions of people who stand with refugees, who advocate for them, who're willing to help out the strangers, the needy without any back thought.
Today, I am reminded that you and I can make a difference. Today, you can be part of the change, you can make the world a better place. Let's all take a minute and think about the 70 million. Let's ask ourselves if there isn't anything we can do to help others in need.