Last week when I went walking with the ladies, there were 23 of us. Today, only ten showed up, and we walked hills and trails for more than five miles and then went our separate ways. I sure do enjoy this time at the beginning of the weekend as a way to set the day's exercise on the right track.
I heard a distressing statistic yesterday while watching PBS, which had a short segment on the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team, which now has its own flag and anthem. When they walked out during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, they displayed little flags with the Olympic symbol of five interlocked rings. A non-profit group called the Refugee Nation commissioned artists to develop a flag and write a national anthem. From that link:
The flag is a banner of bright orange crossed by a single black band—colors that evoke the life jackets so many refugees have worn on their journeys to safety. “If you’ve worn a lifejacket as a refugee, you will feel something when you see this flag,” says Amsterdam-based Syrian refugee Yara Said, who designed the flag.
|Refugee Olympic team's flag|
I was simply stunned when I heard these statistics and thought I had heard wrong, but no, this is really happening. One out of every 113 people who are alive in the world today is affected, and more than half of them are from Syria. The UNHCR receives most of its funding from voluntary contributions, as well as the European Union.
The Refugee Olympic Team may not be winning any medals, but they carry the heart and soul of many countries as they compete. I am humbled by their courage.