The refugee crisis is not new. It has been building for several years due to an array of issues across the Middle East and Africa. When conflicts and atrocities are ignored, people don't have a choice but to leave when they have the chance. Refugees are fleeing from imminent danger and persecution; they are trying to save their own lives. Many do not know where they are going, but if there is a chance that their next home could be better than where they are, the risk is worth taking.
Many articles, such as this one from the New York Times, tried to clear up the difference between the terms "migrant" and "refugee" so that people could understand the full situation better. Other articles focused on what the refugees were fleeing from, such as the violence and individual crises of each area. However, a quick glance at social media will show that ignorance still prevails. Issues like these pull at an individual's worldview, and it's hard to change what people believe overnight.
The refugee crisis isn't simply an issue of finding a place to put people. It should be about preventing this from happening in the first place and addressing the problems in these fragile countries before people are running for their lives. The refugee crisis is still important, and will be for a long time, especially if we don't start doing more.
If you are interested in learning how YOU can help make a difference, check out this great article in the Huffington Post- "How You Can Help Refugees Stay Safe and Warm This Winter" by Alexandra Ma.
1 Number displaced worldwide hits record high via BBC
Written by Sarah Haney