GYC Village

blog posts from GYC's participants, alumni, & staff

Measure? Quantify?

The absence of a higher level secondary school at the Kiziba Refugee Camp, Rwanda

The absence of a higher level secondary school at the Kiziba Refugee Camp, Rwanda; Also, this is the place where the youth wish to build a school.

By Suprita Datta (GYC Rwanda Jan 2015)

Human rights, unlike other aspects of policy and politics, have impacts that can be measured and quantified. How many kids are receiving an education? How much food does each family get? What is the rate of employment? Do people have skills that generate income? Tell us about the quality of the air we are breathing. Are there parasites in our drinking water? Are there enough pills at the pharmacy to deal with our ailments? How much money do you need to build a new school? How much funding does UNHCR receive? How many refugees are being resettled? Where are they going? Why are the numbers so few? These are questions with answers and numbers. These are the questions that make sense.

What we cannot measure are the consequences of the absence of human rights. How devastating is social isolation? What can we do to help our younger brothers and sisters? When does our burdens become your burdens? Where are the lines and boundaries and demarcations of your capacity to care? Let’s have a discussion on being human. Let us agree on our humanity. Next, let us have a discussion on our rights. Let us agree on the rights we have. Then, let us talk about why and how. Why did we fail you? When did Us become We and You become Them? Tell me how to continue to have hope. Tell me what I should tell my younger brothers and sisters.

Finally, let us talk about loss. Let us talk about the loss of human potential at Kiziba. Let us talk about their intelligence and drive and work ethic. Let us reflect on society’s loss. 50 cents per refugee per day. 10% resettlement. 12 kg of corn per refugee per month. 6 years of education. 18,900 refugees at Kiziba. 75,000 refugees in Rwanda. 8 countries willing to take them. Behind every number is a decision. But when did elements of empathy, compassion, justice, and humanity get left out of these decisions?

20141231_135331Perhaps it is our job, as Turikumwe youth, to be making these decisions. Perhaps the goal, now that we have had these numbers ravage our minds and unsettle our souls, is to be in a position where we can revisit these decisions. The refugee youth asked us for advocacy but they deserve more from us. Not simply because it is the right thing to do. But because to deny them is a burden my conscience cannot bear. There is no one answer or one way to for us to be advocates and be active. But because Turikumwe!, because we are together, you and I, us, we can figure it out.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

We’re on Twitter!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


The Global Youth Connect Village blog and most of the social media content are created by GYC alumni, staff and board members working in conjunction with GYC. Views expressed on this blog and social media comments by individuals are not necessarily the opinion of GYC itself and should not be taken as such. GYC also reserves the right to monitor and delete comments not contributing to the spirit of social media etiquette, human dignity and respect. All Contributors to this have accepted to operate under a creative common's license. Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
%d bloggers like this: