Remember The Refugee Crisis 'Of 2015'? Stay Informed About Tragedies That Are STILL Happening
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Remember The Refugee Crisis 'Of 2015'? Stay Informed About Tragedies That Are STILL Happening

The Asylum Crisis on the Greek Islands motivates me to have a persevering concern for international crises.

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Remember The Refugee Crisis 'Of 2015'? Stay Informed About Tragedies That Are STILL Happening
Frantisek Trampota / Flickr

Tents in the snow. Dirty bathrooms. No hot water. Thousands of people, stuck on an island, waiting for a year, or two, or three to begin their better life in Europe. Does the description sound familiar to you? Perhaps you read an article or saw TV footage about these Greek islands a few years ago. But odds are you’ve mostly forgotten the Refugee Crisis “of 2015” once 2015 ended. I haven’t heard it brought up in conversation in over a year. The media isn’t much better: when I Googled “Refugee Crisis Greek Islands,” the most recent article in the top results was a month old. That was pretty good; the five above it were from the fall or past years.

Yet the crisis continues. 13,500 people are waiting on Greek islands to be transferred to the mainland. Housing is overcrowded, and many people are in tents despite single-digit temperatures. An article in the Washington Post says the situation has gotten worse since 2015 and even suggests that the government is purposefully trying to deter refugees. Clearly, the Refugee Crisis wasn't resolved after the media and public awareness moved on.

I forgot too. The only reason I bring up the issue now is because the Humans Right Organization sent me an email about their campaign to open the Greek islands. (Way to go HRO!) Nonetheless, the email troubled me. How could I have thought so little about an issue that horrified me so much two years ago? The media isn’t covering it, so people don’t seem to care anymore.

The media should follow up on stories like this instead of only reporting on crises when their readers are momentarily impassioned by them. However, I realize tragedies are always happening all over the world, and it's impossible for any news outlet, or person for that matter, to follow them all.

But pick a few, people. We can’t keep track of all the crises, but let's commit to being informed long-term about one or two. This persistent concern is so much more effective than being passionately horrified for a week. In the words of Gary Haugen, the founder of the International Justice Mission, “We can help the work of justice by preparing for a marathon, not a sprint."

So find a problem in the world that you care about… the Rohingya Crisis, the famine in South Sudan, the civil war in Yemen, the Venezuelan economic crisis, sweatshops in California… Sadly, the possibilities are endless. Find a website, subscribe to an email list, read a book. Get informed and stay informed.

My resolution is to remember the thousands of refugees waiting on Lesbos.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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