Skip to content

Why an old, crumpled piece of paper motivates me

February 25, 2010

A document of purchase of landIt was my birthday this week and my sister emailed some photos and certificates that she knew I wanted as I’ve been researching our family tree.  The most precious of all was a picture of a tattered, brown piece of paper which shows the purchase of a piece of land.  It records that my Grandfather bought a farm near Lwow in Poland which became the family home.  But in 1939 the Ukraine, with backing from the Stalin-led Russians, annexed this bit of Poland and evicted the residents who were immediately deported to Russian labour camps in Siberia.  My Grandfather died there and eventually my Grandmother and 4 of her 5 children including my Father were given refuge in the UK (via refugee camps in East Africa).  Looking into my Father’s past has made me think a lot about what the family went through and how much I take for granted.  Even though I’ve lived as an expat for nearly 15 years, I feel rooted to England – it’s part of my identity, my security, it’s about who I am and where I belong and where I can return at any time.  I’m lucky.  The number of people forcibly uprooted by conflict and persecution worldwide is over 42 million (UNHCR’s “Global Trends” report 2009)   Host countries, however welcoming, often lack the resources to cope with the influx of people often in desperate need of support and medical treatment.  The number of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is estimated at over 422,000, around 10 per cent of the population of Lebanon.  The first post I wrote told of how much this challenge resonated with me.  Being able, through this challenge, to provide tangible support for young refugees and children orphaned often as the result of conflict, motivates me at a very personal level.  Thanks to everyone for your help so far – with your donations, gold and support we can directly help these displaced children and while we are not able to give them back their land or parents, we can make sure they receive decent conditions to help make a good start to their small lives.  Have a great weekend – and please wave if you see some sweaty people in hiking boots on the beach in Dubai on Saturday morning.

Ophaned children playing in their home

The funds raised by this trek will provide dental x-ray equipment for refugee camps through the Palestine Children's Relief Fund and furnish 2 houses for orphaned children and their 'house mothers' through the Lebanese Association of SOS Children’s Villages

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: