Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Refugees and Global Migration: Humanity’s Crisis

Doug Mills RCN America NETWORK
Camden, Maine - More than 65 million people are now on the move, seeking food, safety, and better lives for themselves and their families. They are fleeing for a variety of reasons: wars, ethnic and religious conflicts, corruption and crime, and the devastating consequences of climate change.

These volatile issues dominate the media today, and they will undoubtedly be unresolved in 2017.

The 30 Camden Conference held this past weekend in Camden brought some of the worlds foremost authorities on this subject to Maine to shed some light on this massive crisis.  This years conference held in Camden and also broadcast to satellite locations in in Rockland. Belfast and Portland was sold out.  More than 1100 attended the conference and of that number 200 were high school and college students.

The Camden Conference is committed to its mission to help prepare Maine students to be future citizens and leaders in the global community  With programs in 5 Maine colleges and universities and 13 High schools the Camden Conference is living up to that commitment.  Twenty percent of this years attendees of this years conference were students.

We also heard from two very special guests:

Layla Mohamed lived in the village of Jerinka in Ogaden, the Somali region of eastern Ethiopia until 2003, when she and her husband left to escape civil war.   After a journey through many countries, Ms. Mohamed has now settled in Portland, where she works for Catholic Charities.  The mother of two children – Mohamed, who is 13 and Manal who is 12 – she is studying to earn a high school diploma and wants to go on to university.  She hopes to become a midwife or to pursue another specialty in health care.

Ali Al-Mshakheel worked in media relations and outreach for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq before he and his family left Baghdad, Iraq in 2014.  He had previously been a producer for ABC News reporting on events throughout Iraq; editor of news and feature stories for Aswat Al-Iraq News; and reporter and interpreter for The Times of London and Asahi Shimbun.  Mr. Al-Mshakheel  is now  Parent Community Specialist (Arabic-Iraqi families) for the Portland Public Schools and a freelance journalist writing on political, economic, social and cultural topics.  He and his wife and three children live in Portland.

Over the course of the three days we looked at the worldwide crisis from those who work daily to help solve this global situation.  By the end of the three day event we all had a much clearer vision of the worldwide scope of this situation as well as some idea of what each of us can do to help.

In part 2 of this story we will take a closer look at this global situation.

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