Try to think back to when you were five years old. What were you doing? For me, there is very little memory from that time, but I do remember I never had to fight for my life, evade someone who was trying to kill me, or even care or provide for myself. That is what parents are for. I didn’t even know humanity was capable of such a thing.
At five years old, John Deng Langbany wasn’t so lucky. At five years old, he saw his parents for the last time as their house was engulfed in flames. He took off running with thousands of kids similar in age as they evaded people who were looking to kill them. Traveling across a desert in Sudan with no food or water, these kids were forced to fight for their lives. At five years old, he watched as people around him were dying every day. He ran from a man who was shooting at him and his friends, just because he hated them. He hid underwater after being shot and came up alive, but left without either of his friends. At five years old, someone hated this little boy, who was separated from his parents and experienced more bloodshed then you and I will probably ever have to.
(For full story of John Deng Langbany, click here.)
This isn’t just the story of one boy who was super unfortunate to go through these things. This is one story out of thousands of people in Sudan who are running from the Ethiopian government. This is the story of the Jews running from the Germans, the Tutsi’s from the Hutu government led force, the story of Cambodians from the Khmer Rouge regime, and the story of many more. There is an estimated number of 170 million people who have lost their lives in cold-blood genocides over the past century.
Deemed “The Age of Mass Murder”, we need to stand together and become more educated on this age. There are more displaced people (someone who is forced to flee their home, but remains in their countries borders) and refugees (people forced to flee their homes due to persecution) throughout the world then ever before! These people are just like John, who are right now on the run for their life, and are powerless to stopping the bloodshed and madness around them.
If you’re anything like me, you may be thinking, “Okay, well what can I do? I’m only one person.” Read. Go and educate yourself and those around you on the refugees and displaced people on this Earth. Read their stories, figure out ways to donate and help. Lastly, be an advocate for these people. The U.S. is trying to close our borders to these refugees at time where we are needed to do the exact opposite. Forget about the uncomfortable feelings this brings or how much it scares you. Think about the five-year-old children running and dodging bullets as bodies drop beside them.
(For Information on Refugee Council USA, click here.)