Amanda Ryan wrote -
As the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Religious Studies Student Association, we have joined a campaign to aid the refugees of Syria. The extent of the Syrian crisis is wide and, according to UN estimates, has affected more that 12.2 million Syrians, 7.6 million of which are displaced within Syria. These are families doing everything in their power to live outside of violence, to secure their future, and to stay hopeful.
While the displacement of these people have extremely personal consequences, it also affects the nations that have chosen to accept them. The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, reported that relocated refugees are living outside of formal refugee camps and have been resettled in urban areas. A startlingly high majority of these refugees – 86% in Jordan alone – live well below the poverty line. Hopefulness will not be enough on its own in these situations.
We have felt it a moral responsibility to help these men and women, children and friends. While it’s recognized we can’t help everyone affected by this crisis, our group hopes to help as much as we possibly can. It is in this effort, the RSSA has chosen to partner with USA for UNHCR to address the ongoing crisis. We understand that many are not able to donate monetarily to those in need. There is much that can be done to help these refugees, though, that only requires a portion of your time. You can forward this letter to all those interested. You can bring the topic into conversation, increasing awareness of the issues surrounding these families. You can reach out to your Congressional representatives to support refugee resettlement programs or relief aid. We must work together to help as much as we can, for we would expect the same empathy for our own people.
Who we are:
The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Religious Studies Student Association (RSSA) is dedicated to the objective and scholastic study of religion in all facets of life. It is organized by students who share a passion for the examination of religion and is officially supported by faculty within the Religious Studies department. The goal of the RSSA is to provide a community in which students or hobbyists of religious studies can come together to share their thoughts on a global, historical human practice. This is done by creating a space in which students feel invited to share opinions that inhibits critical discussion and serious reflection while also being respectful and well-researched. Our group is inclusive, with its members coming from varied areas of studies and philosophical backgrounds. We believe this dialogue can be used in countless different fields of study, in- and outside of academia. It is also our belief that students who join our association will be able to view the world in a more complete fashion, with a respect and responsibility towards the practices of others.