TOP

Refugee crisis a test of our humanity

By Admin

Added 5th October 2017 11:45 AM

The only choice they have is to move, not necessarily knowing where to go but as far as their legs can carry them from home. And how we treat them says a lot about us and what we stand for.

Joangaswaga 703x422

Joan Gaswaga is a legal assistant with the Refugee Law Project

The only choice they have is to move, not necessarily knowing where to go but as far as their legs can carry them from home. And how we treat them says a lot about us and what we stand for.

By Joan Gaswaga

Forced migrants make life threatening journeys from their countries of origin to Uganda not because they want to, but because they have to, given the circumstances.

The only choice they have is to move, not necessarily knowing where to go but as far as their legs can carry them from home. And how we treat them says a lot about us and what we stand for.

Many die trying to stay where they think they belong and those who choose survival and make it alive to Uganda, life does not end there. They have this really long journey of settlement and integration surviving on what United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) can offer to rebuild their lives from scratch in settlements living under conditions which can’t be defined as humane under anyone’s definition.

The refugee crisis is a test of our humanity so Uganda deserves credit for its generosity to refugees. Uganda does not only welcome refugees but also has friendly and progressive policies in place like the ReHoPE strategy which seeks to explore opportunities that benefit both refugees and the communities that host them, by bridging the gap between humanitarian and development interventions.

Uganda being a third world country yet hosting up to 1.3m refugees amidst its own struggles says a lot and as human beings we have a lot to learn. It’s not all about offering money, food or land but greatly about acceptance.

Welcoming forced migrants and treating them as our own. Not feeling sorry for them but rather believing in them. Not looking at refugees as victims because the word victim means suffering for they are not suffering, they are surviving. They are survivors. The fact that they are choosing survival over home is a sign of hope, resilience and determination to rebuild their lives and with a little push, they can flourish again.

Each and every one of us has a role to play because life is unpredictable, we all experience pain and loss at one point and we often become inaudible. We should aim at creating an environment that would give a voice to those in pain, struggling and in darkness.

The true sense of purpose comes from what we can do for others. The calm, confidence and courage that it takes to live a life of purpose comes when we devote ourselves not to our own success, but to the success of others.

On an individual level, what Uganda as a country has done, needs to be embraced by all households in the country. We can use the little we have to serve that which is greater than ourselves because our legacy is every life that we touch and transform for a great future.

The writer is a legal assistant with the Refugee Law Project

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles