Date: Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:21 pm
I want to reiterate what Joy is saying. While have attempts have been made to highlight the plight of refugees there is still much work to be done. Given the predictions of rising ecological crisis that groups like the Club of Rome have made over the years, it is clear that more decisive action has to be taken to address not only the issues that are causing the refugee crisis, but also address on a larger and more comphrensive level, the core problems that are fueling refugee exoduses from their homelands that also have the potential to adversely impact all of humanity. The refugees are like the canary in the coal mine for humanity, one of many warning signs that we need civilizational transformation. For more see here: http://dieoff.org/page25.htm. If these predictions are correct, more than likely the refugee situation will get much worse before it gets better.
However I feel there is also a powerful sense of optimism as disruptive and more ecologically sustainable solutions for development emerge that also are economically feasible in comparison to existing modes of producing and living. Another optimistic sign is how ICT is enabling greater disversity of perspective within the global society. For example here you can communicate your concerns and perspective to us most of whom are from a middle class and western background.
So on that note i wanted to say that we are priviledged to be able to have an opportunity to voice our concerns not only about the refugee crisis and global poverty but the overall challenge of addressing world urgent issues such as global warming, income inequality and the loss of biodiversity from a grassroots perspective and convey that to a more elite audience at the upcoming World Digital Conference hosted by UNESCO and COR. oneVillage Foundation's participation is focused on organizing the African hub to present social networking and grassroots' practices on ICT for capacity buildings. Our chosen hub is in Tanzania. The conference is from May 11-13 in Paris. The workshop and presentation is titled: "ICT skills and tools for empowerment focusing on: youngsters, women and refugees in Tanzania".
Sam, I would like to hear more about your perspective on the refugee issue as you are living in a refugee camp. Also I would like to invite you into a process of exploring how we might work with you to develop solutions to improve conditions at refugee camps by focusing on the development of not training programs but a financial network to support the incubation of business developement within these camps. However I heard one problem is often that there are cumbersome regulations that govern refugee activities to prevent not only travel but the erection of permanent structures. I am not so sure on restrictions on business development. Regardless I think there is a need to come up with ways to reassure governments by demonstrating how giving these camps more autonomy and freedom will lead to their eventual resettlement in their homelands. If we can actually develop models of how refugees while they are in the host countries can provide added value instead of functioning as a resource drain or drag on their economies, this could be a way to slowly improve the conditions at these camps.