2,914,878 registered Syrian refugees
28,780 refugees awaiting registration
808,576 registered in Turkey
294, 304 of them are children
These numbers are constantly growing. Not to speak about the new refugee waves from Iraq due to the growing inflence of IS. While working in the Syrian Refugee Response it seems easy to detach yourself from the ongoing humanitarian tragedy and cruel realities through looking at and talking about numbers. Numbers are important – no question about it! BUT…behind every number there stands a human – a child, a woman, a man, a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a friend, a lover… And each and every of them has their own story, there own sorrows, histories, experiences, losses, worries, and wishes. Each and every of them lives in different circumstances and needs help and support in various ways. It seems so normal while reading the news to learn about numbers, numbers of killed people, injured people, homeless people, orphans, victims of torture. And the numbers are high nowadays! But do we really care? Can we really care? What is a number? What is a high number? 1? 1,000? 100,000? 1,000,000? And what do these numbers have to do with my personal life?
This is no accusation! This is rather a call to not forget that we are infact not talking about numbers, but about humans!
My work takes place on the ground. In ASAM’s centre I talk every day with refugees – I listen to their cases, I see their faces, I learn about their situation, I try to help. Sometimes this is hard! Often everything feels unfair and pointless! But everyday it makes sense to be here and support the people who were forced to flee their country!
Numbers do not cry, numbers do not worry, numbers do not suffer from hunger, numbers are not desperate, numbers were not bombed, numbers do not want to go to school and cannot, numbers do not smile at you – humans do!