Faces I'll Remember


by Rick Perera, Media
& Communications Officer

Farewell, Pakistan. My month among these kind, hospitable people is coming to an end. As I leave this country that is struggling with a massive wave of civilians fleeing conflict, my mind is full of thoughts, and my heart full of emotions. I've seen the sacrifice of ordinary Pakistanis doing their best to help their suffering compatriots. Their generosity is an inspiration, but also a challenge, to the rest of the world.

The crisis in this country is not just a matter for Pakistanis. The terrible violence that is forcing millions from their homes here is intimately linked to larger geopolitical events that concern us all.

The pregnant women who need medical attention; the breadwinners without work, struggling to support their families; the children worried about their interrupted education; the villagers whose modest houses are overflowing with people they've taken in – theirs are the faces I'll remember.

Once I return home, where I'll have enough to eat, safe water to drink, and a doctor when I need one, I'll always wonder: am I doing all I can for these, my brothers and sisters in need?

Whether we live next door, or on the other side of the planet, these are our neighbors, and we must never forget them.