Words by Bea Lizarondo Soliman | Photos by Lorraine Giron
On February 4, UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), the UN Refugee Agency, officially launched the 2 Billion Kilometers to Safety campaign, a movement that challenges individuals from around the world to collectively traverse two billion kilometers through virtual walks or virtual runs to raise awareness on the lengths that refugees figuratively and literally tread to be able to reach the nearest point of safety.
On the same day, UNHCR appointed broadcast journalist Atom Araullo, who is involved in the 2 Billion Kilometers to Safety campaign, as the newest member of the Goodwill Ambassador team due to his effective involvement in the agency.
Using fitness apps, participants can add the kilometers they have walked or have ran to the global total that UNHCR keeps track of. Those without fitness apps who wish to participate can easily do so by manually adding the kilometers they have traversed on the campaign website: www.stepwithrefugees.org/en-ph.
On top of the kilometers that participants may add to the global total, they are also welcome to donate money or to raise funds or sponsorships.
The monetary donations are used to provide millions of people who have been forced to flee their homes, some even who were not given enough time to collect their possessions, with emergency aid, comprehensive care, equipped shelters, protection, and other human necessities; it is also being used to ensure life-saving reception services and a safer process of transferring for the refugees.
Through this global campaign, UNHCR hopes to be able to honor the strength and resilience of these refugees who are forced to relocate due to war, persecution, or violence and to develop a deeper sense of empathy and of understanding within the minds of the campaign’s participants.
If you wish to join the movement to #StepWithRefugees, follow these steps:
What do you think of this? Let us know!