Social media. News outlets. Blogs. Many people share posts or follow people on these platforms. Journalists, celebrities, and athletes often use them to voice opinions, sell products, or broadcast daily events. Their posts are retweeted, shared, liked or otherwise spread all over the internet. If a person is famous enough, they don’t have to do much to have their voices heard. Eager ears await their every word and expectant eyes search for each photo that is posted. Every minute detail of their life is chronicled for the public, but it’s never enough. People are always hungry for more.

Now what happens when the person isn’t rich or famous? What if they don’t possess any extraordinary athletic talent? What if they aren’t a major contributor to a field of study? What if the person is one of millions who has been displaced from his or her home?

Sad images of starving children are not posts that generally receive thousands of likes on Instagram. A broken man who has lost his entire family and spends his days hiding from fighting is not the trending story on entertainment websites. Why? Because those are not the stories that “sell.”

When the problem is so overwhelming, people become apathetic because it seems impossible to make a difference. What if that all changed? What if we began to place supreme value on every human life? What if we became broken-hearted over every painful photo and our thoughts were heavy with each story of loss? What would happen? NOTHING. That is, nothing would happen unless action accompanied those feelings.

That’s our goal at Global Refuge. We’ve met the people and heard the stories, and we are determined to share them with others. Why? Because they deserve to be heard. Once the story is heard, there are two choices to make. Either ignore it and continue on with your day, or let it take hold in the form of action. Whether that is sharing it with others or donating money to provide aid. Some people may grow weary of seeing the images we share or listening to the stories we tell, and that’s okay. We’ll continue to share them because someone has to give a voice to those without a platform. Otherwise, no one hears about the mother who didn’t receive aid in time to save her child. The one who had to watch daily as the son she adored starved to death before her eyes as she listened to his cries, unable to provide any sort of relief. We can’t turn back time and save him, but we can share their story in the hope that another child can be saved. 

-Sarah Sale