(Released, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)
ALIN NISA was among the 720,000 Rohingya who fled persecution and violence in Myanmar last year. When her village was attacked, she and her family was forced to escape in the dead of the night at 3 a.m.
They had nothing but the clothes on their back. With her husband, mother-in-law and two young children, she crossed mountains and rivers. Along the journey, they walked across water-logged paddy fields, in torrential rain, sometimes through the night.
After a perilous journey of 10 days and 102 kilometers, they arrived at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh.
Now safe in Bangladesh, the family has built a shelter, using plastic sheeting and bamboo - all provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They also received a cooking kit, mats and blankets.
Nisa’s resilience and courage is an inspiration and the UNHCR is calling on Filipinos to take a step in solidarity with her and the world’s refugees.
With the 2 Billion Kilometers to Safety virtual movement, Filipinos can commit to run, walk, or cycle. Every step or pedal they take contributes to the global goal of 2 billion kilometers, just as refugees do each year to reach the first point of safety.
The target distance draws a parallel to the cumulative kilometers walked by an estimated 68.5 million refugees and forcibly displaced persons globally—a connection that will allow supporters, especially those targeting to achieve their fitness goals, to walk in solidarity with some of the most vulnerable people of our time.
To join 2 Billion Kilometers to Safety campaign, you can register and add their kilometers directly onto the campaign website stepwithrefugees.org/en-ph/.
You also choose to sync your fitness apps like Fitbit or Strava to automatically add your kilometers, but you can also add them manually by setting a target up to a maximum of 50 kilometers per entry.
Lastly, you can show support by encouraging others to join the cause and help raise funds. Aside from reaching your own target distance, you can organize fundraising campaigns to help the world’s refugees either through your very own school, sports clubs or running communities.
For more information on the 2 Billion Kilometers to Safety campaign, visit stepwithrefugees.org/en-ph/.
is a former dyarista, now digitista who has been writing whenever the tides, the winds, the earth take her somewhere familiar, somewhere new.