The JRS team in Batouri, eastern Cameroon, shared your postcards with refugee children at the Bethanie site. Bethanie is an informal site where some Central African refugees live. ‘Informal’ means that it’s not a refugee camp, but a place where refugees have fled to, and now live with little help. They are mostly Fulani and Muslims.
Today was the second time I spoke using Skype to around 35 sorority sisters from the ΩΦΑ Alpha Kappa Chapter of the University of Kansas.
Olivia Borland and Madisen Huscher, the sorority service directors, invited me to speak last week and again this week about how important hope is to people who have had to flee their homes and become refugees.
Thank you for helping! Thank you for sending hope!
These photographs were taken earlier this week in Africa by Jesuit Refugee Service staff working in a refugee camp outside of Guéréda, Chad. They are amazing! Look at how happy you made them!
You did this.
When I began this project a little more than three years ago at my school in Alaska, I was young and rather naive. It was all just about making people happy, but it was with a feeling of pure emotion rather than knowledge.
I was unsure of what would happen to Any Refugee, and I worried that it would fail and people would hate everything about it. My subconscious was asking “What good can a random postcard do?” but now instead of thinking that, I say “Well, what can it not do?”
Now, three years and many thousands of postcards later, I have seen these pictures along with many others. I’ve talked and Skyped with kids all over the US and Canada about refugees.
I have spoken to refugees in Lebanon, Palestine, and even right here in Alaska, and reflected on the past. I can feel the happiness and angst that they are experiencing, and it is no longer surreal but just something in my life.
I have changed as a person, and I feel that this project will have great long term effects and will help people through their hard times. I am not just saying this through a scripted line like a talkshow host, but as a person.
I am happy to see this success, and may it be like this everlasting.
When I talk to people in need, they tell me they want to hope; they are eager for opportunity; they are ready for better days. And I can tell you that every time their hopes are disappointed, all nations lose.