Did you know that each day, more than 28,000 people are forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution? Across the world there’s over 22.5 million refugees – more than have ever existed before. Behind these alarming statistics, there are individuals, mothers, fathers, children and families – human lives.

Upsetting images of displaced people flash across our TV screens during the nightly news and we feel emotional and compelled to help, to provide some sort of relief to make their lives easier somehow. We donate some of our monthly savings, we donate a baby carrier or package up some baby blankets for that image we saw, of a mother holding her baby tight in the snow.

A donation is always welcomed. Absolutely. But a commitment to the cause is what’s needed. Acknowledging the magnitude of the crisis, the journey of a refugee and the enormous impact on the individual can help drive us to more action to do so much good.

Many of our volunteers here at Carry the Future, who have worked on the ground in refugee camps, have witnessed the look of fear, worry and stress on the faces of women, men and children as they disembark from their long journeys, away from their homelands. These individuals have experienced trauma of some kind, often overcoming and escaping violence. They’ve had to carry everything they own on their backs or in their arms. They’ve walked for days with little to eat and taken boats across unsafe waters all with the hope of a better life.

When we put ourselves in their shoes, we can only just begin to imagine the level of strain and anxiety a refugee must feel. Could anything or anyone really help or make it better? If you’ve been through a traumatic experience of any kind, often you long to tell your story. You want to share what you’ve seen. You want someone to try to understand, to listen, to hear what you have been through.

Beyond the physical aid that Carry the Future provides, it is hard to measure how much we’re helping. So much of our work is wrapped up in coming face to face with refugees, spending time together, reminding them that they aren’t alone and for a moment or two, showing them we are here, and will do what we can to help. Through these actions, we give back the dignity that was stripped away and we are all reminded of our shared humanity. 

carry the futureIf we let ourselves stand back and be consumed by the enormity of the crisis and sadness of the situation, we can feel overwhelmed and devastated. It can feel like there’s nothing we can do to stop the crisis facing so many in our world. But by focusing on the practical ways to help and give our time, and partner with other organizations that are doing good, we remember we are a part of a much larger story. 

Carry the Future provides volunteers with the opportunity to hand deliver aid to refugees in camps. We provide carriers, baby beds, diapers, and other basic needs. The only requisite to going on a distribution trip, other than being 18 or older, is that you pay for your travel costs and you participate with the understanding and agreement that you are doing so freely, at your own risk and expense. Our volunteers all serve to uphold our core values and have a strong belief in our vision and mission.

The bottom line is this: we cannot lose hope. No matter how big the problem may seem, we can all do something to make an impact. We can all be a part of a larger story.

For more information on how to commit to helping refugees on the ground, including what to expect from a distribution trip, please click here.

If you have a few hours a week to commit to the cause, consider volunteering remotely alongside our global staff. To view our available staff positions, click here. 

 

Written by Melissa Francis