Refugee Week 2020: Recognising the Humanity of Refugees

June 17, 2020

Children in Gaza Smiling

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) there are an estimated 70.8 millions people in the world experiencing forced displacement.

This is the highest level of forced displacement since World War II. Millions have experienced the trauma of fleeing from their homes and the many struggles and dangers this brings and due to techology and media, we able to see and hear more of their stories.

Refugees are often dehumanised in the mainstream media and reduced to what they need, rather than what they have lost. We are often shown pictures of people clamouring out of boats, living in tented camps or waiting at borders. They are shown to us as ‘problems’ and why they are refugees is often sidelined for what impact their presence will have on us.

There are 2 million people in the besieged Gaza Strip and over 80% of them are refugees. They have been refugees since 1948, and each generation since has experienced a life in exile from their original homes and under occupation.

As refugees, they have been denied many of their basic rights, and are legally in a precarious position when it comes to international travel and demanding their rights fromtheir occupier.

As refugees, they have a deep longing for their real homes and a desire to live and thrive where they are too. This is difficult in Gaza, where everyday life is challenging and often dangerous.

iF Charity is proud to work with and for refugees in Gaza. We are inspired by their resilience and their commitment to supporting each other. We have been moved by the love parents have for their children and the hard work of doctors and nurses under extreme conditions as well as the ways in which people show great ingenuinity and passion in their studies or work.

Although refugee issues and stories deserve our attention everyday, this week is an opportunity to look beyond the common narratives and to see the humanity and bravery of refugees.

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