Refugees face dilemmas on a daily basis that most of us only have nightmares about.
Refugee status is usually a long term status, it usually comes after having witnessed some gruesome acts of violence and/or having sustained physical and mental injury. It breaks up families, it destroys vision and it is fueled by forces beyond the control of the individual refugee.
Refugee status also comes with a lot of unjustified guilt, in some cases there is justified guilt also. People do extraordinary things to stay alive.
At NCMI we have worked with a lot of refugees, here are some images of the refugees that I worked with between 2006 and 2009 in Botswana. Most of these are french speaking refugees from the DRC, West and Central Africa. A few from Kenya and Tanzania.
Valerian is the pastor of this group, he leads a church in the Dukwi Refugee Camp about 100 miles northwest of Francistown:
Here it is on Google Maps. We were only allowed in once.
Here is a good article on the camp: http://www.mmegi.bw/index.php?sid=6&aid=1317&dir=2011/February/Monday28
Dukwi Refugee Camp gallery:
Valarian pastors about 60 people in the camp.
This photo shows Valarian (with glasses) with my friend Howard who came with us from South Africa.