The conflict in Syria begins its ninth year with no sign of ending at the moment. As global attention drifts away, more than 6.2 million internally displaced people are still struggling to shelter and feed themselves. The most critical time for these refugees is to live through the brisk winter every year. Between December last year and January this year, it was reported that at least 29 children and newborns died, mainly from hypothermia, while fleeing to refugee camp in the eastern region of the country or shortly after arrival .
Youtube screen capture of a SAT-7 ACADEMY programme, City of Stars
“Through satellite TV, we can reach out to 450 million people in this part (Middle East and North Africa) of the world, where most people have never met a Christian, seen a church or had a Bible in their own hands, but they can see the Gospel at home. They can watch our programmes in their language 24 hours a day — our production crew knows their problems and difficulties, and also their source of happiness.” —Kurt Johansen, executive director of SAT-7 Europe, Asia and Pacific
The conflict in Syria has already been 8 years. Although extremist group ISIS was reported driven out of the country, this multi-nations battle is yet to be ended. The Syrian government forces were still fighting with the rebels in May. Chronic warfare resulted in uncountable casualties and destruction. Millions of civilians lost their homes, and were either displaced within the country or have fled to countries in the Middle East and North Africa to seek asylum, such as Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. When their homelands were still devastated by conflicts, rebuilding their country seemed impossible. How do these refugees live in neighbouring countries? Why are their children and other Middle Eastern and North African children described as “the lost generation”? While facing multifaceted challenges, how does this younger generation bear hope for the future? Kurt Johansen, executive director of SAT-7 Europe, Asia and Pacific, a partner of CEDAR, answered our questions one by one.
(CEDAR’s Project Officer Pui Shan visits a Rohingya family in Cox’s Bazar. The mother, who gave birth to a newborn baby, heard about infant vaccination service during regular household visit conducted by community health workers.)
While strolling through a muddy and dusty field, CEDAR’s Project Officer Pui Shan saw rows of tents sitting next to each other that were simply built by timber and canvas.
Christianity was born in the Middle East, a region rich in culture, history, yet also, full of turbulence and persecution.
SAT-7 is a Christian media network, making God’s love visible across the Middle East and North Africa through uncensored satellite television programme. Satellite television effectively break the barriers of religions, literacy, and censorship, making SAT-7’s programmes available to be broadcast across the Middle East and North Africa and accessible online internationally.
The 71st Session of United Nations General Assembly kicked off on 13th of September, where Summit for Refugees and Migrants will be held next Monday, with another summit about the refugees held on Tuesday. Representatives of different nations and NGOs are following the discussions closely although they are not anticipating something overly positive. Meanwhile they still hope that the members of UN would be reminded of their leading roles in solving the global refugee crisis and in acknowledging the human rights of the refugees.
The sights of lifeless and dirty refugee children gathering in the tents set up by the United Nation, or a girl whose face is covered in blood, are only seen on news and donations soliciting advertisements, and could never be seen in Hong Kong… or could they?