Members of the Red Cross team at Hunter College High School in the Greater New York Region brainstormed for weeks before deciding to use a video to promote the stories of refugees as part of our IHL Action Campaign. In the age of technology, in which we communicate through screens and share through links and social media platforms, we wanted to make something that was not only relevant but also self-sustaining. The video was based on the idea that moral persuasion can be extremely powerful in influencing people to change their perspectives, and the specific stories of refugees, learned from UNHCR, provide a pragmatic and sensitive touch.
We wanted to take part in the IHL Action Campaign because we believe in its mission to encourage universal understanding and respect. War should have limits, but there should be no limits to one’s self-awareness. The legal definition of a refugee is straightforward, but the effort to help others realize that millions of people are deprived of their homes every day is potent. It is important to remind ourselves that, regardless of our backgrounds, we need to be compassionate human beings. We cannot be strong without realizing our vulnerabilities. Even if some people think they know what refugees are, we cannot effectively move forward without taking a conscious step back.
You can watch our video here. In the next few weeks, we plan to share the video and a survey with the health classes at our high school.
*The purpose of the IHL Action Campaign is for young people to teach their peers about the importance of IHL, as well as issues related to refugees, gender, and humanitarianism.