Though many know of the humanitarian efforts made by Doctors Without Borders, the reality of those efforts is often lost in translation. Similarly, the refugee crises of the last couple decades might sit in the back of our minds, but the magnitude of the crises and the real human cost is lost on those not directly experiencing it.
Doctors Without Borders’ new traveling experience Forced From Home aims to rectify both of these disconnects and bring the refugees’ reality to our own backyard. “The refugee crisis has grown from 33 million in 2006 to 66 million now…the sheer number of people who’ve been forced from their homes is a much higher number than in World War II,” says Jason Cone, Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders.
This new traveling multimedia exhibit puts you in the shoes of a refugee and forces you to make the kinds of decisions they make on a daily basis. “What belongings do you take? What obstacles and medical problems do you encounter on your journey? How do you start a new life when your notion of home no longer exists?” While these kinds of tasks put you in the middle of the conflicts, that is not the ultimate goal of the project. “The biggest takeaway is, regardless of difference in race, ethnicity, culture or religion, most people fleeing these situations are just seeking safety and opportunity for their families. Leaving your home is the last thing you want to do, and these people often hang on until the very last moment before they make the decision to leave,” says Cone.
“We all as human beings needs certain things; that does not change by where you live in the world. The very basics of safety, food, water and shelter, are consistent,” Cone explains. “ Our exhibit really tries to transform what some would call the ‘Other’ into human beings just like you or me.”
Forced From Home will be on the Library Plaza at 210 East 400 South in Salt Lake City. The exhibit will be open from September 18-24, with admission free to the general public from 9am to 5pm daily.
You can learn more by visiting their website.