You Might Live in a Refugee Camp if you…

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  • Have to walk miles to get water for your family’s daily needs.
  • Get food from the UN to feed your family for a month.
  • Live under a tarp while you gather materials to build a home.
  • Wake in the night with nightmares of things you saw on your escape from war.
  • Wonder where members of your family are and if you will ever see them again.
  • Ask others if they have seen your parents/children.
  • Join another family since you lost yours.
  • Question if your children/parents made it out alive.
  • Hope to find them someday.
  • Picked up unaccompanied kids while on the run.
  • Don’t know where to go with your own family plus the many kids you gathered along the way.
  • Arrived in a refugee camp, stunned, afraid, and without basic supplies.
  • Build a hut for your family to live in from mud, sticks and grass.
  • Cook all your food over an open fire, despite the temperature outside being in the 90s and 100s.
  • Send your children to collect firewood every day so you can cook.
  • Sweep the dirt floors around your home to make them neat, but have trash surrounding your plot of land because there is no trash pick-up.
  • Walk to the borehole with a big tub on your head full of dirty laundry.
  • Wash your laundry at the borehole using the tub, water and soap.
  • Load your wet laundry on your head to walk home.
  • Hang your laundry on the line to dry, if it doesn’t rain.
  • Carry long branches on your head.
  • Carry bags of vegetables on your head.
  • Carry cans of water on your head.
  • Walk everywhere you go, with things on your head
  • Strap your baby on your back so you can have hands free to load things onto your head.
  • Chop dirt up with tools.
  • Make bricks from dirt and water so you can build a house.
  • Fire the bricks by burning them until they are dry.
  • Make more bricks to sell.
  • Chop up dirt to plant crops.
  • Take care of your garden.
  • Pray for rain.
  • Reap what didn’t die from lack of rain.
  • Load a bicycle with your crops, if you are lucky enough to have one.
  • Ride your bike with your crops, your wife with your baby on her back and a bag on her head behind you, and your young child in front of you, hours away to sell crops.
  • Ride your bike back with your family and the things you bought at market with the money you made.
  • Sell whatever you have to pay your children’s school fees so they can be educated.
  • Look for jobs, but find none because you aren’t educated.
  • Sit and despair at your plight and the hopelessness you feel.
  • Gather and sit with other men who are also hopeless.
  • Numb your despair with alcohol when you can find some.
  • Sit and wait to go home to a country you do not recognize any more.
  • Wonder if you will ever get to go home.
  • Wonder what will become of your children.
  • Wonder…

 

 

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