Featured image credit: @Malala
The stories of refugees are often told through numbers.
Statistics and figures dominate the narrative of displaced people, stripping the issue of the one thing that makes it so vital: the people themselves.
Of the 68.5 million people currently living as refugees or internally displaced people, the majority are children and most are girls.
In order to give them a voice, Malala Yousafzai has released a new book. We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World, introduces the girls behind the numbers, providing them with the opportunity to tell their own story.
“What tends to get lost in the current refugee crisis is the humanity behind the statistics,” Malala explains on her website. “We hear about millions of refugees, hundreds of migrants trapped on a boat or in a truck, but it’s only when a truly shocking image appears in the news that people consider what’s really going on.”
The book opens with the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s own story of displacement. As a child, her family fled Taliban rule and lived as displaced people in different parts of Pakistan. Following the Taliban’s attempt on her life due to her activism, Malala received medical treatment in Birmingham and was unable to return to her home country for six years.
We Are Displaced goes on to tell the stories of girls from Colombia, Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and across the world, many of whom Malala has met personally through her campaign for girls’ education.
The girls’ tales are the result of conflict, persecution and natural disaster. As refugees, they face an average of 20 years of uncertainty, meaning no education, security or country to call home.
Their words in We Are Displaced shows us how they are tackling this new reality.
We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World is out now. Proceeds from sales of the book will go toward the Malala Fund’s efforts supporting girls’ education in conflict.