Wednesday, June 20, 2007

OT: World Refugee Day 2007

Today seems to be the day for my political side to come out.

As some of you know, my career has been working with refugees and asylum seekers, so I always try to take time out in June to participate in a World Refugee Day event. Unfortunately, the events in Baltimore occurred last week, while I was away. Therefore, my small contribution to the day will be this post.

I'd like to share a poem written by an asylum seeker in Australia that was turned into a song for the Scattered People choir. As a member of the choir along with numerous refugees, it is a song that continues to bring tears to my eyes. You can hear a sample of the song here. And if you would by chance be interested in buying the Scattered People CD, just let me know. :)

If you feel so inclined, check out a book about refugees. Human Cargo by Caroline Moorehead comes highly recommended; That State of the World's Refugees published by the UNHCR; or The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community by Mary Pipher. The website of the UNHCR has lots of accessible information.

You can also check out this article about Iraqi refugees on CNN. It's the first I have seen an American media outlet highlight Iraqi refugees. America is also finally starting to accept some Iraqi refugees for resettlement. Progress is being made.

Don't forget, that a refugees journey does not end when if they are resettled in another country. Resettlement non-profit organizations are always in need of help and assistance in their struggle to meet the needs of refugees. Find one in your community today!

Hometown
We belong
Never lonely we belong
Safe and warm this is our hometown
We belong


My hometown

How I love the summer

Lotus plants and buffalo

We are fishing, sw
imming
This is life

In my hometown


My hometown

Working with my hands

And I feel proud of what I do

I support my family

This is life
In my hometown

We belong

Never lonely we belong

Safe and warm this is our hometown

We belong


My hometown

Work the land till harvest

Feel the sweat then celebrate

Let the seasons turn

For this life in my hometown


My hometown

How I yearn to be there

Lotus plants and buffalo
Lay me down there someday
Let me sleep

In my hometown

5 comments:

Dewey said...

What a wonderful career! It must be so rewarding.

Nyssaneala said...

@dewey - Thanks! I am currently taking a break from it, and will continue to do so for awhile after our baby comes, but I still try to stay involved. It definitely has its rewards, as well as its challenges!

MyUtopia said...

Great post!

Lotus Reads said...

As you know, I really do admire the work you do...thank you for this post,my heart goes out to displaced people everywhere and I would like to, in my own small way, do anything I can to help.

Literary Feline said...

I have been spending a lot of time in Africa recently reading wise the subject of refugee life has arisen more than once.

Your work is very admirable. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be displaced like that, but I do know it musn't be easy. My heart and prayers go out to all those who have had to go through that.