It’s worse than ever, isn’t it? For refugees, and for anyone who’s left their original home for a new one, not feeling at home or being accepted.
And usually it’s easier to feel something when World Refugee Day (or Week) comes round. But right now my softer feelings are worn so thin for so many reasons that it seems as if I almost don’t have them.
But I would like to tank the generous Debi Gliori for setting me on the road to – occasionally – donating money to The Scottish Refugee Council. She once did something very kind for me, and refused payment, instead suggesting I give the money to a refugee organisation. And then, when I suddenly had people asking what I wanted as payment for doing stuff, and it felt like ‘yes I did do this thing but money isn’t the way to deal with your gratitude’ I realised I could also do that; I could ask them to donate. So this has happened a few times now. If you feel the urge to give me money, think of the Scottish Refugee Council instead.
Because it’s Carnegie/Greenaway medal week, I will leave you with a reminder of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. It’s such a beautiful book, showing a lone man arriving somewhere strange, to him. But not to all the people already there. And with time, he too gets used to his new home. The strange is no longer quite so strange, but on the other hand, it will never be ‘home’ as in the place you come from.