Reading through these personal accounts is truly eye opening. The thing that really captures my attention is the amount of time these people spend in the camps. I always thought that those type of camps were temporary. I always figured that the UN had an efficient process to resettle the refugees. Reading through these accounts, I found that all of them have spent years, even decades living in these “temporary” camps. Since the camps were supposed to be temporary there isn’t any plan for resettlement. There isn’t a plan to have work or any way of advancement. They’re stuck, waiting for the conflict to be resolved in their home country, so they can return. The problem is the conflicts in their home country go on for decades. Looking at the situation from afar I can honestly say I don’t know what to do given the situation.
There seems to be two ways for change, awareness and action. Being college students we have the ability to research and raise awareness about the devastating situations running rampant throughout not only Africa, but also many places throughout the world. We live in a very interesting world. Our world has been globally connected with a network of electronic communication. Anyone can write an article, post a picture, or create a video and send it off to the web. If posted in the right place, millions of people can see it. The web is a catalyst. It gives individuals the ability to voice their opinions and rally around a cause. Decades ago individuals lacked the ability to spread the word about their cause. Now we can organize events, take photos, and create emotionally touching videos, and send them to the world. I think being in such a technology driven society is truly amazing, however it does have its downsides.
Living in a tech country everything because faster. Any information is literally right at your fingertips. We can call, text, video chat with your cousin across the world, and book movie tickets, all within a few minutes. This fast paced living instills a characteristic: that if we want something, we can have it, now. This way of thinking is flawed. Things can’t change over night, however a perception can. In today’s tech society we’re constantly being bombarded with advertisements, logos, and branding that literally have to scream at us to get our attention. Having a short attention span is definitely a downside of having a technology driven society. We see images and associate them with an alternate reality. We do this because all of our TV shows, series, and movies all deal with extreme situations. We have programs about murders, terrorist, guns, and disease. These programs tend to numb our sensitivity to these topics. This is truly sad. We watch these programs and say, “well that makes sense” or “that’s just how it is”. When we see photos or videos that are real, that way of thinking tends to linger. This I feel is the biggest downside of all. That way of thinking doesn’t spawn change it spawns a channel change. It tells us to give up. It tells us there’s nothing we can do.
I think the way for change is not only awareness, but also a change of thinking. By taking advantage of our highly visual and technology driven society we can create emotionally empowering videos that share the stories of these refugees. I think being college students, we’re in a very interesting demographic. Our generation is so hungry for change. We want to spread peace. We are however, extreme addicts to technology and the entertainment industry. We watch movies, make playlists on our iPods, and follow celebrities on twitter. However we do rally around causes, for example, Invisible Children and raising awareness about child soldiers in Africa. A film was made showcasing the cause and it spread all around the country on college campuses. This video sparked a movement of support from college students and resulted in a bill to be passed in congress to help stop the war dictator who was imprisoning and capturing children to be drugged and used as soldiers.
We need to take advantage of our technology driven society. We have the ability to change our way of thinking and ultimately the way the world things. We have the ability, we just need to do it.