Georgetown Students Advocate for Syrian Refugees

July 18, 2016

Students at Georgetown University learn more about UNICEF’s role in Lebanon from Deputy Director of UNICEF Lebanon, Luciano Calestini.

Amidst finals preparation, students at Georgetown University sat down to a conversation on UNICEF Lebanon’s response to the devastating fallout of the Syrian conflict from Luciano.

As Luciano takes the stage, he speaks of hardships and frustrations in trying to help the over 1 million Syrian children in Lebanon, but does not hesitate to remind the students of the hope in so many of those same children. He talks of making a weekly trip to the camps every Thursday, speaking to the mothers, to the fathers, to the children playing in the camp. He informs the students that not every refugee is in a camp. There are over 400 informal tented settlements in Lebanon—pieces of land without the same support as a formal camp. Pieces of land that hold more than half of the refugee population.

Students watch the picture slideshow behind Luciano as he visually takes them through the camps and through the steps the Syrian refugee children. When he wraps up, hands immediately raise up to ask how to make an impact, what can be done.

“Talk,” he tells them. Luciano reminds the students of the importance of relevancy and to not let the Syrian crisis and the growing refugee crisis disappear from the news. Students begin to strategize how to advocate for Syrian children—how to reach out to their legislatures to amplify the youngest and most vulnerable of voices.

Georgetown students crafted letters to individual Senators and Representatives in an effort to advocate and take immediate action. The students continue to raise awareness for the refugee crisis on their campus.