When one reads the news about the latest terrible conflict, war, or disaster, it is important to remember the tragedies that precede it. Awareness of refugee suffering around the world is a crucial step in making a difference to people’s lives. For today, remember the Sudan.
Sudan has been in a state of conflict more or less since its independence from Britain in 1956. After several coup d’etats, a particularly bloody civil war gripped the nation from 1983 to 2005, resulting in the secession of Southern Sudan.
While many may believe the worst is over, this splitting of the country has cost many lives, and has left approximately 600,000 people as refugees to this day. In addition, approximately 4 million are internally displaced as a result of years of war and upheaval.
Conflicts like this have a terrible, yet easily forgotten long term effect on people. Most refugees, like those from Sudan, flee to neighbouring countries. These host countries are statistically poorer countries themselves in the first place, and are financially strained in supporting refugee groups. This regularly leads to ethnic tension and hostility towards refugees in hosting communities, further compounding refugees’ sense of isolation and loss of human dignity.
For its part, RIJ has funded a project in Khartoum, Sudan that gives literacy classes to women. This project empowers women to gain more work opportunities and improve their own lives.
If you would like to help this project or others like it, please donate here: http://refugeesinternationaljapan.org/form_donate
How else can you help? Remember places like Sudan, and remind others that people still live without homes or human dignity. It is very easy to forget about tragedies when they are replaced in the headlines by newer conflicts or disasters. It is imperative, however, not to forget those who have already suffered displacement, and still suffer to this day.