New Year, New Beginnings
It’s the start of a new year. For many this means a new start. An opportunity to accomplish things that weren’t achieved the year before. Many people set goals or resolutions that they hope will better their lives in some way or another. For those who have been victims of turmoil and conflict, the coming of the new year might mean a year that they have new hope for their lives.
In the past few years, we have seen the refugee crisis explode to proportions that have not been seen before. In 2016, we saw thousands dying at sea attempting to make passage to safety, as well as refugees and asylum seekers living in squalor in camps like Calais. People living in fear of being sent back to countries in the middle of war and unrest while they await for their status to be determined. While waiting to be granted asylum or refugee status, many are unable to work, save money, or attend higher education. When they are finally granted status, the biggest question is:
“Where do I begin?”
Where do refugees begin to start their lives again that were put at a halt by war, violence and unsympathetic agencies deciding their fate? Where will the millions of refugees begin their new year? Will it be a year starting with hope? The hope for a better and more peaceful future instead of one filled with war and despair. Will it be a year starting with understanding? Understanding from fellow human beings in their new home and understanding that things can get better. Will it be a year starting with new opportunities? New opportunities to feel safe, achieve success, and have happiness.
For those who have the ability, make it a goal in this new year to give hope and opportunity to someone who has little. Volunteer or donate to a local organization that assists refugees in your area, create awareness about a cause that interests you, or even just educate yourself further on the issues surrounding refugees. Be one that will assist others with being able to set goals and look toward a brighter future. This year can mean a new beginning for those who have spent the last year running from persecution and living in limbo. This year can mean peace, stability, hope and opportunities.