Refugees

Inspiration and Hope on World Refugee Day

Approximately 75 to 80 percent of the 50 million refugees in the world today are women and children.

It is widely understood that life as a refugee is a constant struggle. However, rather than focusing on the countless hardships refugees endure, I want to use today, World Refugee Day, as an opportunity to shine a light on amazing female refugees that refuse to be silenced or lose hope.

In Kenya, over 500,000 refugees take shelter at Dadaab Refugee Camp, making it the largest camp of its kind in the world. However, the camp’s massive size does not come close to the extraordinary strength, determination and courage of its people.

Meet 18 year old Koswar Asad Warsame. Like many young girls around the world, she loves poetry.  In the videos below, Koswar reads her extraordinary original poetry – poems of both empowerment and sorrow.

In “My Future Will Never Go With My Home,” Koswar questions the true meaning of home and demonstrates a wisdom and talent beyond her years.

My Future Will Never Go With My Home 

I am a Somalian child

who is homeless.

My home is taken

but my future will never go with my home.

I am an African child

who survived for long time.

For how long shall I be mistreated?

For how long shall I move from country to country?

Home is the best.

My future is my home.

In “Peace Must Prevail,” Koswar waits for Peace and questions Peace’s absence from her life. 

 

Peace Must Prevail 

All people of the world,

listen to my bitter saying of lamentation.

The pain and clamor of nation,

I cry for the finishing light of my future

lost in conflict.

Peace, you are the only cure of our pain,

the only solution.

Peace must prevail.

 

Thousands are killed and thousands are displaced.

Our dreams to be doctors, teachers, and lawyers

had all been squashed like a thunderstorm in flash.

There is no way to peace.

You are the way.

Peace must prevail.

 

Peace, Peace, Peace,

where are you Peace?

You are very sweet but

never taste you.

You are the best friend but

never meet you.

You are very beautiful but

never watched you.

Dear Peace, why have I miss you?

I am hungry and thirst for you.

I hope for peace.

The black man’s peace.

Peace must prevail.

 Although powerful, poetry is not the only artistic outlet employed by Dadaab refugees. One Somali mother empowers and inspires through song. “Buranpur,” a poetic prayer, calls for an end to widespread violence and suffering in exchange for a rebirth of mercy and peace.

Similarly, in the video below, Somali women take part in a traditional Somali song and dance, bringing energy, hope and happiness to the dusty streets of Dadaab.

Although the above examples focus solely on Dadaab Refugee Camp, rest assured that similar stories of hope, empowerment and courage exist among refugees all over the world.

The plight of the refugee does not serve as a refugee’s entire life story, but only a small chapter. Once the world, as one, advocates for peace, we will see an end to the suffering.

After all, Peace must prevail.

Photo Courtesy of Dadaab Stories
Photo Courtesy of Dadaab Stories

To learn more about organizations working to empower refugees around the world, please visit the following:

Dadaab Stories

International Organization for Migration

International Rescue Committee

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

Refugee Council USA

Women for Women International

Women’s Refugee Commission

 

All examples derived from DadaabStories.org

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Category: Refugees    Uncategorized
Tagged with: Arts    Dadaab    Dance    Girl's empowerment    Girls    Inspiration    Kenya    Music    Poetry    Refugees    Somali    Women    Women's Empowerment    World Refugee Day

Elisabeth Epstein

Hi everyone! I recently earned my Master’s degree in International Development from The New School in New York City in May 2012. With a concentration in International Development and Global Health, I have worked behind the scenes as a Research Intern for the PBS documentary Half the Sky in addition to serving as the Research and Advocacy Intern for The Hunger Project. Globally, I have taught English to kindergartners in China, have researched clean water and HIV/AIDS in Kenya, and have gained first-hand experience understanding how migrants and refugees deal with public health issues in both Mexico and Thailand. I am especially interested in food security, nutrition and hunger and the role of women and girls in each of these issues. In my free time, I enjoy playing with my ever-so-fluffy Siberian Husky, eating delicious food, training for marathons and traveling. Follow me on Twitter @E_Epstein!

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