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How the Attitudes of the Community Impact State Level Decision Making

5 June 2017

Eva Konig is a student at UWC South East Asia in her first IB year. For her Global Politics course, she decided to examine the impact refugees and displaced people have on society, and how the attitudes of the community impact state level decision making.

Seeing and hearing the stories of refugees in the news opened my eyes to the depth of this crisis. When I was told by Ms. Hirons that our Global Politics Internal Assessment could be any political issue that we were passionate about, as long as we engaged in a way, my mind directly thought of the refugee crisis. However, only by researching deeply into the subject I realized that even when refugees arrived at their destination, there was still a long way to go before it felt like home. One of the main reasons that refugees struggle to feel at home is because of people's views. Many of the refugees I spoke with also had trouble adjusting because it was so hard for them to get vital things they need, such as driver's licenses, employment visas, resident cards etc.

During Christmas holidays, I volunteered at a French organization, La Cimade, in Strasbourg. La Cimade is an association of solidarity which helps migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. The association has worked for the respect of the rights and the dignity of people since 1939. Their work involves meeting with refugees and helping them with necessary admin to get the judicial documents they need. They also spread awareness and fight against prejudice. The main way they do this is by going to different schools once a week. One of the volunteer workers I spoke to told me that sometimes the best help they can offer is listening. Many of the refugees don't have family or friend and what they need is someone to talk to. I volunteered by translating from English to French or vice versa and listening to their stories.

The way in which studying at UWC has impacted me the most is that it has motivated me. UWC has many incredible students, teachers, and alumnus, which make me strive to be a better person.