Did you know that there are 41.2 million refugees and internally displaced people in the world? And 12 million stateless people living in limbo without citizenship rights? Recently, I had an opportunity to do a motivational session for a youth refugee group in Hong Kong. And I realized that people forced from their homes by conflict are among the world’s most vulnerable who all have individual stories of loss, heartache and survival.
Officially there are 6,500 refugees in Hong Kong. Most of them are asylum seekers who have suffered human rights abuses, persecution, torture or sexual violence! They usually come from South Asia (Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan) and Africa (Somalia, DR Congo, Eritrea, Burundi, Rwanda, Cameroon, Ivory Coast).
Ever since I have heard about these people and met some of them, it’s been almost impossible to complain about my small problems and challenges in life. The things that we take for granted – home, family, friends, job, food, clothes, education etc. – are daily struggles for these people. We are extremely blessed if we haven’t experienced war, famine, violence, displacement or other such calamities, and we should be very grateful!
If you are looking for a cause to support or an opportunity to contribute, you should consider Refugees International or Hong Kong Christian Action who are helping thousands of refugees with their basic needs.