In 1996, I became part of a large family, the refugee family. Becoming a statistic as a refugee is a formidable challenge because the world doesn’t want us or like us. None of us chose to become a refugee, none of us got the manual on how to be a refugee, we learn it on the go.
First, we flee our homelands, our culture and everything we know and love, not because we want, but because we are given only two choices, to run or die. Born a hereditary chief and now part of the global refugee family. Destiny took me to Australia. Now, as national here, I continue growing, learning, working and supporting in ways I can. One area that I wish I had more impact is the refugee narrative. Host societies often are led to be afraid of us, we are sometimes depicted as contaminated and deseases-carrying hordes. Worse even, refugees are increasingly deemed a threat to national security. All this is a misunderstanding that is exploited by fear merchants. Today, on internacional refugee day, I send my love to all refugees, my greetings to all my friends who also were once refugees, and thanks to all who make an effort to give us a chance to rebuild our previously destroyed lives. We have one home, the earth, we are one family. Thank you!