Today, on World Refugee Day, we stand in solidarity with the millions of women, men and children worldwide who have had to flee to escape war and violence. We stand with those who have lost family members, and with those who have been uprooted from their lives and whose homes have been destroyed.
The number of displaced persons has reached unprecedented figures of 70.8 million – a steady increase since the birth of Better Shelter and a twofold increase in only ten years. Meanwhile, protracted refugee situations last for 26 years on average.
As long as Better Shelter makes a positive difference in peoples’ lives, we will continue to work tirelessly towards our vision of a world in which all people have a safe place to call home. Every day, but today especially, we reflect on the privilege of doing what we do – to improve the living situation of displaced families together with humanitarian partners and individuals around the world who dedicate their lives to preserve peace and protect the lives of others. Supporting those in need is a privilege, but above all it is an obligation that we all share. With so many people in dire need of protection, it is more important than ever to welcome strangers with open hearts and arms. We have to keep defending every person’s right to a life in dignity, safety and freedom. Together we must continue to build diverse communities, where everyone feels at home no matter where they come from or what religion they subscribe to, and regardless of what they look like or who they love.
We have met many courageous people over the years who have all survived dangerous and violent conflicts, only because they managed to escape in time. We sincerely wish for a brighter future for all the girls and boys that grow up in displacement today, and hope that they will be able to find a safe and permanent home, wherever that may be.