Imagine yourself in a country filled with fear that is perpetuated by a corrupt government which is divided into violent factions. Your life and safety are threatened everyday, so you pack up your family and flee. You can only take a small portion of your possesions, so you grab the necessities. You leave the sentimental tokens behind and take what is practical.
You travel. Whether it be walking through deserts or escaping on boats, you risk your life to in order for your family to have what is best for them. Finally, you reach a refugee camp.
It is a large camp, but has been hastily set up. Families scramble to pitch tents - claim space. Many of these families had gardens in Syria that provided vegetables and fruits, but now only have government-issued checks in meager amounts to provide food from the area's store.
Many of your neighbors start businesses that align with what their old jobs in Syria were. One family handles technical issues - they help fix solar panels that power many things in the camp, and they help with the electrical infrasturcture. Another family runs the market places for food and other goods. The refugees develop other small businesses that keep them and their neighbors supplied with work and income. You launch a business and your family works hard to keep it going.
Your children work for you. While there are makeshift schools run by refugees who were teachers, none are within walking distance. Your children are knowledgeable of the family business but don't have a formal education. You and the rest of the people in the camp are resourceful, innovative, and hard working. You face reality with an optimistic view of the future.
This is just a glimpse in to the life of a refugee.
In August, there were over 4 million refugees registered from Syria. They live in overcrowded refugee camps and lack the basic tools to gain economic prosperity and political protection. But these people find a way to live, stay positive and innovate despite the harrowing circumstances.
Find out more about life in a refugee camp here. Many efforts are underway to get them resources, medical aid, and education opportunities. Check out Charity Navigator for information on some of the best organizations.
POINT exists to help connect you to charity and volunteer opportunities; we want to keep you updated on events unfolding around the globe. Start checking back here for global news and resources to help.