It Was Always Here

We were born under the images of the casque bleu as we heard of our cousins fleeing Rwanda, and the horrors they left behind.

We listened as Liberia turned bloody and we waiting anxiously for the safe arrival of more family on the perilous journey back.

We remember sleeping in one giant bed with them, when they finally made it home, knowing that everything was left behind.

We heard about the clashes in Sierra Leone and we counted down to the arrival of large boats that brought family and best friends safely to us.


Guinea Bissau raged near by, despair and poverty spreading.

Pockets in Mali not far behind.

We marched as Afghanistan burst in flames, the same in Yemen.

We volunteered when Syrians came knocking, young people in search for kindness and humanity.

We prayed with Sudan and the Rohingans.


We fundraise, we advocate and we show up, again and again.

We know the signs, we know the rhetoric and the aftermath that always follows.

Mothers will weep.

Hope destroyed.

Cultures stigmatized.

And children, people with disabilities, people of african origin, always the most vulnerable.


We stand with Ukraine,

As we always stand with vulnerable populations.

But we are not blind to the treatment of our brothers and sisters, walking side by side in search of safety.


As the North is shocked and waking up to conflict.

We know it has always been there.

And we have always been here.

By Emily Joof
By Emily Joof