Archive for displaced

Justine Gaga – Artist

Posted in CULTURE, Humanity, NEWS, South America, Spotlight with tags , , , , , on June 29, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

In an interview with Colombia Reports, Justine said,

“My work is about solitude, people who are alone and in need of protection . . . I lived by myself for a long time and not because I wanted to.”

Justine found inspiration in loneliness. Her art explores the isolation that comes from migration or being exiled from your home. For Justine, the theme of loneliness is both personal and political.

In Colombia, where Justine is living and working, there are an estimated 4.9 million refugees. Justine was funded to come to Colombia and hold workshops for poor, predominantly Afro-Colombian, women and children living outside Medellin.

Refugees have been forced to leave their homes due to armed conflict in Colombia. Afro-Colombians have been targeted by illegal armed groups. Justine learned about the conflict from the mouths of children,

“They were very sad, they told me that where they come from there is war . . . to remove violence from their minds by helping them to express themselves . . . perhaps they will learn that life is not only violence.”

Children Who Migrate to Work

Posted in Awareness, Humanity, Mother Africa, NEWS, Our Health with tags , , , on June 11, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Berikisu, an 8 year old in Accra, the capital of Ghana, trades her education and health for money. She balances metal pans of food on her head to carry to customers all day. The weight of the food as caused her persistent pain in her neck and back. At times she falls to the ground. She told IRIN reporters,

“I have a headache and I want my mother to buy me some medicine. I always have pains, in my chest. I have never been to the hospital.”

Berikisu came to Accra to work as thousands of other Ghana’s children do. The U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report estimates over 30,000 children work as porters. Even more children are sex workers.

Sheema Sen Gupta of UNICEF said,

“These kids are supposed to be in school. Their health is compromised. We also know that these kids have babies on the streets, which is a maternal health issue.”

In Ghana children’s rights are addressed in dozens of policies, although legislation is not often enforced. Agencies are trying to prevent children from needing to migrate to find work just to eat. Schools are opening so children can eat where they learn.

Haitian Women’s Rights Activist Testify Before UN

Posted in Awareness, Humanity, Latin America, NEWS with tags , , , , on June 8, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Haitian Women’s Rights Activist Leaves Camp for Displaced People to Testify Before the UN Human Rights Council

Today, June 8, the United Nations Human Rights Council gather in Geneva to hear testimony from Malya Villard-Appolon, a Haitian women’s rights activist  who has lived in the camps for displaced people since the earthquake destroyed her home in January. Ms. Appolon, a leader of KOFAVIV, a Haitian grassroots women’s organization, has witnessed the rapes in the camps and the lack of a coordinated or effective response to these persistent threats. Ms. Appolon said,

“We want to tell the Human Rights Council that the systems for protecting women in the camps are broken. We get no protection from the police, or the peacekeepers. We feel we do not have access to the rooms where decisions about our safety are made. We need the support and commitment of the international community.”

Lawyers from MADRE, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and the law firm of Morrison & Foerster LLP, who recently returned from a delegation to Haiti and will be accompanying Ms. Appolon.


Genocide in Darfur

Posted in Humanity, NEWS with tags , , , on April 8, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Darfur, Sudan, is a city in conflict that is seeing its people become displaced throughout the Sudanese borders and refugee throughout the world.  Once families flee their homes they are forced to continue to flee. If they are lucky, they find themselves safe in a new land. The road is never easy. Although, they might find themselves safe in a new land the lost of their homeland is always heartfelt.

Over 2.5 million civilians have been displaced and over 400,000 have been killed. The fighting between the government of Sudan, the Janjawid (an allied militia), and rebel groups has made civilians victims of outrageous human rights violations. Support is needed to stop the violence and stop the genocide.