In light of World Humanitarian Day, we decided to ask some of the SB OverSeas team, what led them down the path of becoming a humanitarian. We posed this question to our team who are working with refugees in Lebanon and in Belgium.
Bethany, came to Saida as a volunteer to teach in one of our schools. A couple of months later, she knew she could not leave the place and is now, after a year, Project Manager of the Saida centre. For her, ‘the greatest honor of [her] job is to grow to know a community closely, to be trusted with its children, with its stories and in ways with its future.’”
Wael, who is responsible for the Bukhra Ahla centre in Beirut, also began as a volunteer with us after fleeing the conflict in Syria. In his own words:‘To be a humanitarian means to provide everything you can to others and help them achieve their dreams. I started working in the humanitarian field so that I could help others.
Arsal, an area previously under threat from ISIS, her former experience led her to become involved with Kids’ smiles and people give me energy and encourage me to give more.’
For Abeer, who is responsible for our centre in humanitarian work. Coming from Arsal herself, she had to flee her home during conflict in her own country. A couple of years later, and back in Arsal, she was able to sympathise with the plight of the Syrian people who left their home to seek refuge in the border town of Arsal. Seeing this and remembering her own story, she felt compelled to help, especially given the sheer number of people in need and the lack of NGOs working on the ground in this area.
Back in Brussels, we talked to Kamilla, one of our longest volunteers with SB Espoir. She, along with other volunteers, dedicates her weekend to doing activities with unaccompanied minors living in asylum centres. We asked her why did she become involved in humanitarian work?
‘It’s the inequality of opportunities that I will never stop fighting against.‘Every time at our activities, I see an enormous wave of energy and potential, and our society – with so many challenges ahead – simply can’t miss out on this potential!‘
And whilst it is important to recognise the work of these people, it is also important to remember that everyone is can of doing something to make the world a better and kinder place. In the word’s of Martin Luther King Jr, civil rights activist, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
In Brussels and want to volunteer your time on the weekend? Click here to learn more about SB Espoir and our weekend volunteering program with refugee youth.