There are a handful of people I’ve come to know primarily online for whom I would tackle just about any task. Mark Story is one, and Shonali Burke is another. So when Shonali sent me a note asking me to take a look at the Blue Key Campaign for the United Nations Refugee Agency, I said “of course.”
What Shonali probably is not aware of is that when growing up, I lived in places like Thailand and Indonesia; areas of the world that have long had to manage refugee crises. Shifting countries, abandoning your home, leaving with only the clothes on your back for a decidedly unknown future, were images that surrounded me at a very young age. And it makes an impression on a kid, I can tell you that much.
The Blue Key Campaign is an effort to raise awareness of the plight of refugees around the world, and it takes very little to champion their message.
Some facts from the Blue Key site:
- There are 43.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide.
- 17 million refugee and internally displaced people are under the age of 18
- The UN Refugee Agency helps 26 million people a year.
It takes a small effort–really, a blog post–to make a difference for this campaign. If you’re inclined to contribute a bit more, $5 will get you a Blue Key.
Most of us–hopefully none of us–will ever know the complete displacement of leaving home, never knowing if you’re going to be able to return, and then living for months or years in a refugee camp. I can’t imagine it. But for millions of people, this is life. This is their normal. We can make a difference in the conditions in which they are living.
This is why I’m supporting the Blue Key Campaign. If you can help, the campaign’s objective is to distribute 6,000 keys by June 20. I like their tagline, so I’m repeating it here:
Open your eyes. Open your heart. Open the door.