Displaced Persons and Refugees:
Legacies of Conflict and War
Gently get into a quiet, meditative Soul Space of healing power.
The conditions that spawn displaced persons and refugees continue to be an important issue in the 21st century, a crisis which creates hardship for millions and severe economic burdens on asylum countries. And as new conflicts arise, more and more lives are disrupted. One heart-wrenching part of this crisis is that 10 million of our children under 18 make up half of the world’s refugees, a fact that the world simply cannot ignore or tolerate.
For not only does this sector of our earth family have to deal with the tremendous trauma of being without home or country in the midst of the violence of armed conflict, but life in the refugee or displaced persons camps, places that should be safe havens, can bring with it other cruel hardships: not enough or no medical care, violence from people who don’t want them there, adverse weather without adequate protection and unfortunately in some instances, sexual abuse and exploitation of women and children.
But who will stop the flow of displaced persons and refugees? Who will bring to a close those violent and ignorant actions by some of us that cause people to become refugees, uprooted from homes once thought to be safe, displaced from native lands once thought to be nurturing? Well… we will, each in our own way, one step at a time…
“We were hiding, my Dad, my Mom and myself. And they came and killed us. They cut me with a machete and killed me… They did it for nothing.”
- 5 year-old orphan girl (Rwanda)
…and who will stop the terror of children in war and armed conflict, struggling to cope with loss of limbs, loss of family and constant threats to life? We will, for although we may feel that the magnitude of the situation is daunting, we truly have the power to make a difference, step by step, transforming the conditions in the minds and hearts of humankind that cause these devastating humanitarian crises.
So shall we join with all humanitarians tonight to lend the power of our intent to the plight of all refugees and displaced persons, and to hold a vision for an awakening of compassion in the hearts of those who manifest their fear of others in hate and violence.
As we join our hearts together, know that powerful beacons of Light and Love will shine forth into the world, will join those from others of like intent, and be directed to those in greatest need on our beloved planet.
As we each prepare for the moment, let the mood be one of unconditional love…
…and May the Force be with us! J
Please light your candles (optional) and commence with the following peace poem:
Dear God, Great Spirit,
We are gathered tonight to hold a vision of love, support and safety
For those of us who are forced to flee for our lives,
leaving homes or countries behind because of armed conflict, wars and persecution.
And we hold a special vision of warmth and caring
For the children who are caught in this crisis and are struggling daily to deal with the
soul-scorching legacies of wars and conflict.
We lend our support to all those around the world who use their lives
To provide safe asylum to refugees and displaced persons,
Especially those working on the front lines to save lives and actively promote change, regardless of personal danger.
May there be an awakening of understanding and compassion
In the hearts and minds of those of us who create these conditions because of
ignorance, fear and hate.
May we all come to discover that there is room enough for us all on this planet
And abundance enough for all of us on this planet.
We hold a vision of world leaders harnessing humanitarian insight
And life-affirming, creative solutions when faced with conflict,
So that the human toll and suffering resulting from such conflict
may be halted.
May we all have the courage to seek harmonious coexistence,
step by step,
each in our own way,
until the conditions that spawn refugees
no longer exist.
After this introductory vision/meditation/prayer, please express your own vision of peace. (As always, please feel free to modify the peace poem, or to use your own.)
Please close your peace session with the extinguishing of the candle.
· The inspiration for this Peace Circle came from:
‘The Global Refugee Crisis: A Challenge for the 21st Century’ Colloqium. Remarks by Mrs. Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (May, 1999)
“Children in War” - an HBO documentary (January, 2000) by film makers Alan and Susan Raymond.
‘Refugee Children - One Day we had to Run’
Report from the UN Special Session on Children (8 – 10 May 2002).
December 24, 2002