From 2008 - 2014
REFUGEES ENCOUNTER: Their Story
Here´s to the days that turned into years with strangers turned friends and like brothers and sisters. - ms
2008 INTRODUCTION TO REFUGEES ENCOUNTER
Spending Time With The Refugees. This is not an easy task, and I thought I had been trained, had the experience, and could do this--how wrong I was! Here´s the deal --the task cannot be done by myself alone. When you find yourself with a task that has meaning, make it your goal to give 99% then it will be worth it. Refugees have their own stories. These are individuals from different countries, other religions,s, and different cultures-- the only thing they have in common is HOPE.
I´ve become a humanitarian/human rights activist --(who would have thought) no idea what the word meant back then. And as a humanitarian and an independent missionary volunteer ... yes, not to mention I am a foreigner in this country -- I can be a refugee, too (yes, I do look like one *smiles*) I wanted to be able to share my experience to raise awareness of what meant to be a refugee. The real ones, their struggles, and what they have gone through are the real field of battles. Their way of life is a battle between bad and worse, impossible to imagine.
Why are they doing this? I found the sad truth.... (escaping their past - a prisoner outside the system)
To me, a refugee is a free man, free to go wherever he wants but NOT ALWAYS WELCOME! Now, imagine... -ms.
Accidental Humanitarian Advocate
By a twist of fate and four leaf clover ;)
I started working with refugees in Iceland in 2008. It was not my intention to work with refugees. Somehow a friend of mine asked me to come along. Was I curious? Yes. I heard about them and wondered how they ended up here. So, to make a long story short, I made up my mind to come back after my first visit. Since then, I have invited friends and volunteers to come along.
Through my work with refugees in Iceland, I made friends with them and met quite a few humanitarian workers, some Icelanders and some foreign. In 2012, on the first of August, after the Kenyan Festival 2012, I joined the group CoC Iceland. convergenceofcultures.org
We had our first CoC meeting on 1st August 2012 since I formally joined the organization. Icelanders are very accommodating, and they are passionate about humanitarian works that I end up collaborating on projects with them. I learned a lot about different cultures and gained my primary and major in-depth knowledge about cultural diversity and the equality of human beings.
There are different types of activists, and they operate and function differently. The Philippines, like a third-world country, experiences various problems such as corruption and high medical fees. US has its challenges, and many Filipinos complain about our lives, but their troubles are nothing compared to some of these refugees. Their compelling stories
Meeting all of you is a gift of knowledge and to some of you, thank you for being open, friendly, warm, always human -- err, funny yet usually emotional. - ms
CoC Iceland convergenceofcultures.org
Humanitarian Advocate and Part-Time "Human Rights Activist"
My human rights activist experience with Icelanders in Iceland opens new horizons for me and more activities with refugees.
In my pursuit of seeking knowledge about life as an immigrant and as a woman, I must understand every new challenge and be determined to make a difference in the flight of the refugees I encounter and some I met regularly through our project and workshop.
Understanding fundamental differences between humanitarian and human rights activists. "Human rights revolve around legal discourse whose purpose is to further human flourishing and humanitarianism around moral sentiments whose purpose is to rescue lives at immediate risk. Unlike some within the human rights community, humanitarians do not advocate the immediate collapse of the regime or view working with the government as a form of endorsement. Instead, humanitarianism advocates for assisting all populations in need regardless of the political system they live under." - CoC reference
1. Peace Light Vigil
2. Meetings after meetings.
CoC Iceland is lead by:
October 2 - Human Peace Sign - Light Vigil Gathering at Klambratún
Mannlegt friðarmerki á degi Sameinuðu þjóðanna gegn ofbeldi.
Samhljómur menningarheima, ásamt fjölmörgum öðrum félagasamtökum, stendur fyrir Mannlegu friðarmerki á Klambratúni þann 2. október 2019 á Alþjóðlegum degi Sameinuðu þjóðanna gegn ofbeldi:https://www.un.org/en/events/nonviolenceday/index.shtml
Sérstakt tilefni þess að setja upp friðarmerkið nú er að sama dag leggur upp frá Madrid Heimsganga 2 fyrir friði og tilveru án ofbeldis. Aðaláhersla þeirrar göngu er baráttan fyrir samþykkt Sáttmála Sameinuðu þjóðanna um bann við kjarnorkuvopnum sem samþykktur var í júlí 2017 af 122 aðildarríkjum SÞ.
ICAN samtökin (International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons) tekur þátt í Heimsgöngunni en þau samtök hlutu friðarverðlaun Nóbels fyrir þátt sinn í að koma sáttmálanum á 2017. Áhersla ICAN í göngunni er að fá borgir og sveitarfélög í löndum sem heimsgangan heimsækir til að samþykkja sáttmálann um kjarnorkubannið og skora á stjórnvöld í viðkomandi löndum að gera slíkt hið sama.
Þetta á sérstaklega við um lönd sem eiga aðild að Nató, en ekkert þeirra hefur ennþá samþykkt sáttmálann um kjarnorkuvopnabannið og er Ísland í hópi þeirra landa!!
Því hvetjum við alla friðarsinna til að mæta til leiks og taka sér blys í hönd á Klambratúni 2. október n.k. kl. 20.00 og setja þannig lóð sitt á vogarskálina í þeirri mikilvægu friðarbaráttu sem Mannlega friðarmerkið stendur fyrir.
The Convergence of Cultures, along with numerous other organizations, will promote the forming of a Human Peace Sign on Klambratún next October 2nd, the United Nations International Day of Non-Violence. https://www.un.org/en/events/nonviolenceday/index.shtml
The special motivation for setting up the Peace Sign is that on the same day, the second World March for Peace and Nonviolence will commence from Madrid, Spain. The March is dedicated to the campaign for the ratification of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was adopted in New York on July 7th, 2017, by votes of 122 nations.
ICAN (The International Campaign to AbolishNuclear Weapons) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons” will collaborate with the World March.
ICAN’s objective with this collaboration is to influence local municipal councils in the countries visited by the World March to enlist their cities and towns as endorsers of the ICAN Cities Appeal and put pressure on the national governments to take action.
This applies especially to the member countries of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), as none of them has signed the treaty. Iceland is one of those countries.
We encourage all peace activists to attend Klambratún next October 2nd at 8 PM and participate by taking up and lighting a torch for peace, literally and symbolically.
Samhljómur Menningarheima (Convergence of Cultures)
Cultures House of Iceland - Founder Christien Kristjánsson
Seminar: Weekend Retreat for Refugees
Choice to Change
The Weekend Retreat for refugees offers two days courses, namely one on Life Challenges and one on Introduction to Iceland and will be taught by Mr. Keith Henderson from the US assisted by Christien Kristjansson and Maflor.
The program consists of 8 hours of lectures, 2 hours of a group workshop, and 2 hours wrap-up session including a lunch buffet to introduce different foods and delicacies, as well as an educational tour visit to the most exciting tourist spot in Iceland. Students can opt to receive a certificate at the end of the session. The course will be offered in English. There will be no fee charged for this course.
Christien Kristjansson of Culture House Intl. - Iceland is from South Africa, has worked in various volunteer projects both in South Africa and in Iceland with managing the Open House- A Reach Out program to help foreigners integrate and sponsored by the Alpjoðahús.
Maflor has been involved with missionary and charity projects and she recently returned from Thailand and Cambodia. She is currently working full-time at Hotel Smari and doing a part-time at the 4th Floor Hotel. Maflor passion lies within her charity and volunteering work with Fjolskyldan Liknarfelag and Kærleiksverk Félagasamtök/JKL JLU Missions - Iceland and Philippines registered organization.
Keith Henderson has been a missionary, teacher, and volunteer for over 35 years in the US and Asia. Presently visiting Iceland from Thailand where he has educational projects aimed at improving the quality of life via volunteer projects as well as English enrichment. These projects have been sponsored by individuals who have the same goal - to be a help to others in any way they can-sometimes via donations of time, services, money, or materials to help others in need. If you would like more information, please contact us. Thank you! Have a wonderful day!