Today, June 20th is World Refugee Day. I felt it fitting to write a blog post just reflecting on what this day means for me and the organization Patrick and myself built with the support of all of you.
So what does it mean for me? It means we, a collective body of global citizens, should be doing everything that we can to end such tragedy that currently leaves 65.6 million people displaced. For me (and I'm positive Pat feels the same way) it meant finding a way to personally to do my part. Most of you know how Chords of Peace was founded so I won't bore you with that story. The underlying premise has always been to show the gift of music to as many children who have been affected by war as possible.
This summer, we are working with organizations in New York who help recently resettled refugees get settled into their new life. This gives me much personal joy, knowing that children and families are getting the opportunity to explore their creativity through music. While I am extremely happy that this organization has found a niche, it pains me to see how many refugees are still living in a world of fear.
On a day like today, it is hard to not recognize how fortunate I have been to grow up where I have. I think most of us have been equally as fortunate. My biggest worry throughout any given day is whether or not the LIRR is running on time. How lucky am I? I don't need to worry about when my next meal is, whether or nor my family is still alive, or even worse - being forced into military conscription.
So today, take a moment and recognize the hardships and difficulties that millions of our fellow humans face. Fortunately, we can all still make a difference. A question I often get asked is "how can I help?" There are so many organizations that do amazing work. Chords of Peace has been fortunate to work with some incredible individuals and organizations. Check out organizations such as the African Great Lakes Action Network here. AGLAN is run by a great friend, and Rwandan Genocide survivor, Claude Gatebuke. Check out The Boaz Organization for Youth here to learn all about the amazing work they are doing in New York City. Of course, Chords of Peace is always looking for individuals who are interested in our mission. Feel free to drop us a line asking how you can get involved. We are all in this together!
While this crisis has highlighted the absolute worst mankind has to offer, it has also showed me hope. There are so many people doing the right thing, that the good is often overshadowed by the bad. I feel that we should all focus on the positives and do what we can, within in our own powers, to bring a quick end to this unfortunate crisis.