Posted: Saturday, October 19, 2019. 10:11 am CST.
By BBN Staff: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in collaboration with the Embassy of Mexico in Belize, the Embassy of Costa Rica in Belize and the Organization of American States (OAS), held the Refugee Children Storytelling Exhibit on October 17.
The exhibit was held at the Mexican Cultural Institute, under the theme “You Are Not Alone”.
The exhibit included the participation of twenty children, asylum seekers, who shared stories and photographs.
The exhibit was based a Storytelling Project organized with forty asylum seeking children in two communities in Belize.
The children were given cameras for a day to take pictures of their lives and the things that they treasure.
They selected their favorite picture and spoke with psychologist Lynne Jones about the story behind the picture.
UNHCR selected twenty of the pictures and the corresponding story to create the exhibit.
Giving the opening remarks, Head of the UNHCR Office in Belize said “these are not stories about policy or new restrictive asylum regulations that powerful people in powerful places make, but these stories are more powerful than any of that. They are stories of real people, real children, these are stories of survival.”
“The OAS and its partners consider the theme to be a message to all Belizeans, that as you reach out to support your refugee brothers and sisters from your very own region, you are not alone – you are not alone in your efforts to demonstrate your compassion for your fellow human beings… you are not alone in thinking of the long term economic, social and cultural benefits that will accrue to Belize… the OAS and its partners take satisfaction in assuring you that there are organizations and institutions within both the public and private sectors, in neighboring Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama which, in solidarity with you, are taking unprecedented steps to also help refugees and asylum seekers,” OAS Representative, Starret Greene remarked.
Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, Carlos Quesnel said that we must intensify regional cooperation on migration in order to have better results. It is not an easy task but we must continue working together. When we talk about migration, we are talking about the convenience to develop regional cooperation efforts that better respond to protection challenges.
The Charge d’Affairs of Costa Rica said that migrants and refugees have contributed to the growth of the economy, peaceful coexistence and cultural diversity of Costa Rica.
Among others, in attendance were the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche, Area Representative for Caribbean Shores, Kareem Musa, and Belize National Trade Union President, Elena Smith.
The exhibit will be open at the Mexican Cultural Institute until October 30, 2019.
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