This is Why I am Here

IMG_1921.JPG Yesterday was World Refugee Day. My friends got to speak to the world. Directly to anyone who logged in. To anyone who was following any of the many twitter updates. To anyone who was on the live chat – anywhere in the world. We had spent the days leading up to WRD preparing for the live video feed to Washington DC and then for the several hours of live video feed to the world.

We walked the camp, back and forth in the sand and the heat. We talked with refugees, asked them to gather their friends to be included and to control the crowd, and we tested tech equipment. We slept on the floor of an office, quite comfortably actually, and had only a few moments of down time and sleep over the past week.

It was all worth it. Broadcasting the voices of the refugees to world, live, offering interactions and question/answer sessions, all of this is why I am here.

IMG_1898.JPG At the end of the day, during the sunset over Djabal, Annette Rehl from UNHCR was saying the closing words for the day. This is when it hit me. The power of what we did today and possibilities for the future. The possibility that the world’s most vulnerable can participate in the conversations and peace processes that affect their lives most directly is real. It is very real. This is why I am here.

Thank you to those who tuned in, and if you didn’t get a chance, please check out the “on demand” or archived footage of the day. You will see all our friends speaking to the world.

Katie-Jay keeps i-ACT running on several levels. Much of her work entails coordinating partnerships with other grassroots organizations and implementing the campaigns developed by Gabriel and seeing through the details. She graduated from Portland State University with a BA in Sociology and a focus on Community Development. She has previously worked as a community organizer in Thailand, Guatemala, and with grassroots organizations across the United States.

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