Home away from home
Being away from home these past four weeks to work in the Horn of Africa has made me reflect on how different and yet so similar all of us are to one another. While Africa looks nothing like New York City and I am not always sure what I just ate for dinner, people are still people … and there seems to be a common denominator or unifier among all of us.
I spent today talking to Somali refugees who are now living in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp. Their stories are incredible. One man, Baaf, just arrived two days ago after walking nearly two weeks from the Mogadishu area near central Somalia. His family of seven has nothing … not even a place to sleep. He says they sleep under the stars.
Then I met another boy … 15-year-old Mohamed from southern Somalia. He and his family of seven had been living in a makeshift hut made of sticks until it blew over several days ago.
While listening to their stories, I realized how all of us just want a place to call home. We all want a space to call our own that we know will keep us safe and make us feel at ease.
Today I was so excited to get to play a small role in helping provide families like Baaf’s and Mohamed’s that home away from home. World Vision just set up 5,000 high quality tents for refugees in the newest refugee camp to open today. I got to see the first busload of Somalis arrive, smiling and excited because they knew this area that we had been preparing all week was their new home.
My new friend Mohamed didn’t need many words to describe it best when I asked him if he liked his new home any better than where he’d been living. He answered. “Yes, this is good!” Then Mohamed insisted we take a picture together. See … we are all the same … no matter how far away we are from “home.”