Read Our Special Feature: Voices from Afghanistan

They Could Easily Become My Friends

… we were interacting with the refugees on a one-to-one basis

Avery Alley, Paris
Avery Alley, Paris
Avery Alley, Paris

Written by Twila Bird

Photography by Christophe Mortier

Avery, an American student at the American School of Paris, joined the school service club Compassion Without Borders and has spent the last two years focused on humanitarian service as well as her studies.

My favorite activity was when we filled bags with personal toiletries and handed them out to people on the street. I think it’s because we were interacting with the refugees on a one-to-one basis. I was interested to see how individuals lived in these stressful conditions. It certainly made me feel grateful for what I have on an everyday basis. I don’t have to think about having enough food to eat or clothes to wear, but these people have to think about those things every day. It made me more aware of others and what their needs might be. Instead of being faceless refugees, they became people who could easily become my friends.

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