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What It Means to Be Child Refugee

To be a child refugee means to have memories of playing and spending time with friends you grew up with in your home country, and for those memories to be all you have left of the place you once called home and quite possibly those friends.

To be a child refugee means to have a bicycle left behind, dreams, memories, your childhood cut short by war and destruction.

To be a child refugee means to miss out on education because your school has been turned into rubble, or because there are no schools available on your journey of fleeing a war zone and seeking asylum elsewhere.

To be a child refugee means to fall behind on your schoolwork as your parents try their best to help teach you what they know as they are playing the waiting game of finding their new life.

To be a child refugee means your life will be valued less because you are native to a certain country that is foreign and “dangerous” land to others.

To be a child refugee means to oftentimes be denied entry into other countries because even as a child, you are seen as a threat.

To be a child refugee means you will often go without food, without adequate nutrition, without basic necessities, because you do not have access to quality nutrition on your journey away from war and destruction.

To be a child refugee means you will be at higher risk for developing serious health conditions due to problems with your immune system from chronic stress, placing you at higher risk for illness.

To be a child refugee means to have your heart broken, your soul shaken, your mind seared with images of death, destruction, and all the most horrible things a child (and even an adult) could ever imagine.

To be a child refugee means to have your entire world turned upside down.

To be a child refugee means to be vulnerable and in need of extra protection and care in order not to be re-traumatized.

To be a child refugee means you will feel a pain and longing to return to your homeland, in happier, more peaceful times because, while other places may be a safe haven, there is no place like home.

To be a child refugee means to have an unshakable faith that we all can learn from. These are God’s angels, sent to bring us closer to Him through their unwavering faith, strength, and determination.

To be a child refugee means unconditional love and closeness to God.

It is our duty as human beings not to turn our backs on these children. Whatever country they may be from, they are deserving of peace, safety, love, stability, good health, clean water, nutritious food, happiness, and the joys of childhood.

Our world leaders may care more about power than about human lives, but I most certainly have not and will never forget about these children. I have made it my life’s mission to ensure that these children feel loved and safe and secure and to let them know that the world has not forgotten them. Despite all they have been through, these children are determined to survive, thrive, and live every day with hope and strong faith that God will get them through their difficult times.

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