Home  >>  Report >> 

It Wasn’t their Own Making, Let’s Continue Helping Refugees

April marks the beginning of the 100 days of genocide that happened in Rwanda 22 years ago. As a result of the failure of International intervention, about 800,000 Rwandans were killed while two million fled into neighbouring countries where humanitarian organisations provided lifesaving services and begun the healing process.

Some refugees are given resettlement areas and other basic necessities whereas others continue to suffer but we should always be there to help them in all kinds of life.

As we observe these 100 days, let us be reminded of the critical role that humanitarian organisations play.

The willingness of governments to host thousands of refugees, and not close their borders to them, but let them enter, provides land and protection to them deserves applause.

Conditions in the refugee camps are alarming, many get sick and others die. A kid from Syrian refugee camp.

Had the East African countries stopped Rwandans from entering, the victims would have been more. The combination of humanitarian help and government support has enabled the survivors to have the strength to go back to Rwanda and rebuild their country.

Some Rwandan Refugees that were arriving at the camp from Masisi in North Kivu during the 1994 Genocide unrest.

Fast forward to 2016, and the refugee crisis in Europe. More than one million refugees have travelled to Greece since 2015, and more are on their way. With the EU-Turkey deal, which plans to send the refugees in Idomeni, Greece to Turkey in exchange for EU taking refugees directly from Turkey, and the recent terrorist attacks in Belgium, the entrance of refugees at European borders is stricter.

UNHCR does not operate in Turkey and therefore this is a concerning situation. This deal reflects the fear many countries have. Taking into account the political and security defense for these precautions, one thing should not be forgotten.

The refugees standing, pressing their faces on the metal fences are not just statistics, they are people.

Some of the stranded refugees from South Sudanese crossing to Uganda.

People who are fleeing their homes and their lives because they have no other choice.
Working with a humanitarian organisation, you watch as people carry the bare minimum.

Hopeless, they trek into the unknown hoping that wherever their feet may fail, they may find kindness and support.

Burundian refugees arriving in Tanzania July last year after political conflicts broke out in the country.

Humanitarian organisations do not make burdens and dependents out of refugees, they empower them to be self-sustaining and restore their dignity.

Therefore, they should not be looked at as a liability. When we feel that what we have to lose is more important than our fellow human beings, then we are once again failing as humanity.

Some of the Syrian Kurds refugees cross into Turkey on 25 June 2015.

The threat of ISIS is not a race or a tribe or a religion, it is an ideology and such Ideologies, in conducive environments, progress to be genocides and raise leaders like Hitler. These restrictions are punishing victims and not the actors.

As we have seen in Rwanda, Syria’s future is not lost. There is hope for resurrection and development. Once this happens, all the refugees who have been empowered by humanitarian organisations will be able to go back to their homeland with much more dignity and hope than when they left.

By Robert Muriisa.

Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter

Leave your comment

Your Name

Your Email

Your comment

Close X