What causes a person to be a refugee?

We are hearing a lot these days about the “refugee crisis” or “the refugees”. It seems like a lot of people are moving from one country to another or from one part of the country to another for fear of their lives.

Refugees

But, what exactly is a “refugee”? What makes someone a refugee, are there different types ? Why are they fleeing their countries to go to another one or fleeing their homes for the bushes? In this article we will explain quickly and in an understandable manner who are the persons considered refugees and the different types.

When families are forced to flee their homes or countries, one of the greatest casualties are children. Children suffer in many ways; socially, developmentally and most importantly educationally. Most refugees flee into areas that are inhospitable with little to no availability to schools.

In Douala Cameroon there are a lot of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Southern Cameroon. Most IDPs are without work and with school age children. And they depend on families and NGOs for their livelihood. In comes Change Care Foundation an international community-based, not for profit organization delivering humanitarian and development programs. Their main areas of work are Humanitarian services, women and youth empowerment, literacy and education, community healthcare and sanitation.

Refugee

Recently Change Care Foundation donated books pens pencil and backpacks to over 100 internally displaced children in Douala Cameroon. These children are very eager to go back to school and were very appreciative of the supplies.

education and literacy

A refugee is someone that is being persecuted in their home country for reasons of race, religion, political opinion, membership of a social class or nationality, so they need to leave their home country and ask for protection in another one in which they might not be able to stay otherwise because they don’t have all the legal documents which would grant them the permission to stay.

There is also refugees that are fleeing from war or violence. This is one of the types we are hearing the most about: the refugees coming from Syria are fleeing from the war happening there. This is also the type most refugees in west Cameroon fit this type of refugee: they are fleeing violent terrorist organizations like Boko Haram, and the political instability in their own countries. Right now, Cameroon has a refugee population of about 10,000 and 6 refugee centers, but the aid and funding they are receiving is meager and not enough to care properly for the refugee population.

So, the “refugee crisis” is a very serious human crisis that is causing a lot of people to have to leave their homes and take up the refugee status due to different reasons, the most common one being political instability, war or violence.

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