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World Refugee Day – in the world we are all together

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Every year, June 20 is an opportunity to verify our knowledge, ideas, and stereotypes that we think about when the topic of refugees comes up. What are the most urgent needs when leaving home and who is responsible for securing them, what can we do with limited resources and tools at our disposal, and how to talk to a person who has experienced the difficult experience of fleeing.

Although we are trying to build a safe world for the next generations, the number of people leaving their homes as a result of a life-threatening situation is increasing every year. By the end of 2022, more than 108 million people worldwide have recognized refugee status, of which more than 62 million have left their country of origin. More than half of the refugees come from just 3 countries – Syria, Ukraine and Afghanistan. According to the forecasts of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the number of forcibly displaced or stateless people will reach over 117 million this year.

Refugees are people we reach by conducting activities in conflict-affected countries, but also our doctors who build medical teams. These are the children we met in the Child-Friendly Spaces introduced in Poland and who today play chess together with their Polish peers. These are often people we meet in Poland and abroad, slowly arranging a new life. The refugee experience is not visible at first glance, but it is deeply connected with the history of a particular person. That is why it is important to be sensitive to other people and what they want to tell us. Each story told is of great importance to us because we know how much trust we have been given by people who often share the most difficult stories from their lives.

We make sure that when reaching people in need of medical assistance, we always take into account particularly vulnerable groups, including refugees. In many places in the world, the lack of documents is synonymous with the lack of access to public services – it is in such moments that our help may be the only possibility to take advantage of medical care. We see how important it is to be sensitive to different cultures, which is why among the doctors there are people who themselves had to leave their country, and today they help their compatriots in a difficult situation. No one can be left without help when they need it.

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