How To Define a Refugee
CONTRIBUTOR: Claire Crossland Naujoks, TSOS Team Member
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the word refugee. A word that has crept into our media and minds more and more in recent years, a word that is loaded with connotations, a word that has been repeated and politicised until the meaning has almost become lost in the confusion of opinions and facts and fake news that surround it.
So let’s go back to those seven letters. Refugee. According to google, ‘a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution or natural disaster.' Things that I hope I never have to endure. Things that I know I would flee from. Things that may seem unimaginable to those of us safe and warm at home.
A refugee is just someone seeking refuge. And a refuge is a place to survive.
I’m sure we all know by now that there are record numbers of refugees in the world at the moment. All of them with a story, all of them fleeing, all of them survivors of experiences that have left scars, be they physical or mental.
And now let’s take a minute to think again about what the word refugee really means.
Someone seeking refuge.
Someone seeking life.
Someone just like you.
Egette was born and raised in a refugee camp in Tanzania, Africa. In 2021, she graduated with a B.S. in psychology from George Mason University. In 2022, she received her MA in psychology with a focus in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, also from George Mason. She was recently featured in Forbes on World Mental Health Day. She founded Safe Haven Space, to empower and educate refugee families in the US about mental health and wellbeing.
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