You?ve seen the photos of smiling faces from Somalia to Afghanistan, from the Central African Republic to Gaza. There?s something about seeing those faces that pulls at heartstrings and makes us feel connected to our work in conflict zones. While our projects may feel far away from our daily lives, they are tangible, real, and life-changing for war-torn communities.
Because of technology and our wonderful local partners, we are able to do most of our work from the United States. But nothing can replace spending time with people whose lives have been torn apart by conflict. When we visit these places, some of the most dangerous on earth, our presence says: ?You are not forgotten. We may live on the other side of the world, but we love you and we remember you and we want to partner with you in restoring life to your community. We stand with you and you are worth the risk.?
Time spent on the ground is about more than taking pictures or attending meetings. It?s about connecting with conflict-affected people on the most basic, human level. It?s about looking into their eyes, hearing their stories, and sharing a meal. It?s about knowing them as more than numbers or victims, but as people with dreams and experiences, who laugh and love and want good lives for their children. These stories and connections happen because we show up, because we have skin in the game.