Forced From Home: Volunteers needed for refugee exhibit on GWCCA campus

Of the 65 million people who are displaced in the world today, more than 22 million are legally considered refugees.

What defines a refugee?

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations refugee agency,  “A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.  Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.”

Given the long-term, fast-moving conflicts that are forcing individuals from their homes, there are no signs that the crisis will subside. In fact, every three seconds a person was forced to leave his or her home in 2017, the latest available statistics, according to UNHCR.

What can you do to help?

Forced From Home, a 10,000-square-foot free interactive tour presented by Doctors Without Borders, is being staged Oct. 21-28 on the Georgia World Congress Center Authority campus, and the production needs volunteers to help it run smoothly.

Awareness and education about the refugee crisis is key. That’s why Doctors Without Borders, an international medical  humanitarian organization that provides medical aid where it is needed most throughout the world, created Forced From Home, which recently completed tour stops in Charlotte, N.C., Minneapolis and Chicago.

The free one-hour interactive tour takes people behind the headlines of the global refugee crisis.  Participants are guided by experienced Doctors Without Borders aid workers and travel through a 10,000-square-foot space designed to convey the challenges facing people forced to flee their home. Attendees will also learn about the humanitarian aid Doctors Without Borders provide along the way. Visitors will experience virtual reality, 360-degree video, and handle materials gathered from refugee camps, sea rescue missions, and emergency medical projects from around the world.

Forced From Home will set up on West Plaza, outside of the Georgia World Congress Center’s Building C, and will be open to the public 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends from Oct. 21-28.

It is a large-scale production, which is why enthusiastic, friendly, and dependable volunteers to help raise awareness of this global issue are needed. Exhibition volunteers will assist in a variety of roles on-site, including visitor registration, crowd management, virtual reality administration, and logistical support.

To volunteer, click here.

Visitors take a one-hour tour around the Forced From Home exhibit at Battery Park City, New York City, in 2016. (Photo: Elias Williams)