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Last month we marked World Refugee Day – a day to remember the millions of people who have left everything behind in search of a safe place.

If you are anything like me, you too find it hard to grasp the full reality of the refugee experience.

Never have I felt the fear that comes with impending danger inching closer and closer to my front door. Never have I experienced the forced separation of loved ones, or worse yet, watching the death of my closest family, friends, and neighbours. Never have I been forced to make split-second, life-or-death decisions that would alter my life forever.

In other words, never have I experienced war.

For most of us who have never lived through the horror that millions of people are living through every day, it’s hard to even fathom what that is like.

But we all dream – we dream for our futures, for our children’s futures. We imagine a better life and a better world.

We asked several of the men, women, and children we work with who were forced from their homes what they still dream for their futures, even in the midst of present suffering.

This is what they said:

Davol (20), South Sudan

Davol (centre) fled his village because of the ongoing conflict in South Sudan and has lived in Mangateen Camp – a settlement for displaced people – for nearly five years.

“It’s difficult to live here. We struggle to have enough food and to pay school fees, but education is important because I want to be a doctor.”

 

Layal (9), Jordan

Layal and her family live in Amman, Jordan after having fled for their lives from Syria. Layal’s family receive cash assistance to help them cover their most urgent needs.

“I want to be a drawing artist. I love pictures. I even write stories through drawing pictures instead of writing words.”

 

Mohammed, Bangladesh

Mohammed has been living in Kutupalong Refugee camp in Bangladesh ever since he had to flee Myanmar with his family. Now, Mohammed works with Medair as a Community Nutrition Volunteer and visits other refugee families to help educate them on nutrition practices to keep them healthy.

“I hope one day I will be able to travel. I want to improve my English. As a Rohingya, I don’t have the ID papers to allow me to travel. But I don’t let that discourage me. I keep studying and practising. And whenever I meet an English-speaker, I talk as much as I can!”

 

Farhana, Jordan

Farhana fled Syria with her husband and their children in 2012. They sought refuge in Jordan and had their third child in Jordan as refugees.

“The only dream I have now is to see Syria safe again. I hope to take my family and return.”

 

Sabina (57), Bangladesh

The brutal attacks on her village in neighbouring Myanmar forced 57-year-old Sabina, a Rohingya grandmother, to flee her homeland. After a long and harrowing journey, she arrived in Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh – the world’s largest refugee camp. She currently lives in the crowded camp together with her son and three of her grandchildren.

“My only hope is to go back to my home and to get an official identity from my home country.”

 

Matra, Iraq

Matra and her four children are seeking refuge in Hawiga District, Iraq. When armed groups entered their city, her husband was captured and taken away. Day after day, Matra searched for her husband. Finally, in 2015, Matra was told to not look for him any more.

“I want the moment of before to come, when my husband was here with me.”

 

Ahmad (4), Jordan

Ahmad and his family are Syrian refugees. They live in Jordan in a small apartment in the northern city of Zarqa. Ahmad and his family received cash assistance to help the family meet their most urgent needs.

“My only wish is to go to kindergarten. My mother tells me I’m still young, but I know she doesn’t have the money to send me there.”

 

Samer (14), Lebanon

Samer is one of the more than 120,000 Syrian refugee children living in informal settlements in Lebanon.

“I am 14 years old and I work to help my father make a living. I wish I can go to school instead.”

To go to school, to live in peace, to follow our passions and see the world – these are dreams we all share.

You can help keep these dreams alive and show your support when you make a gift. This fund provides vital support to refugees when they need it most through the provision of health care, shelter, safe drinking water, and cash assistance.

Make a gift today and make a real difference in the life of someone who has left everything behind.