As a former war refugee in the eighties, I know exactly how the refugees feel today. I also know what a difficult and challenging journey they have ahead. Once they arrive in their host country, rejection and indignity are just the beginning of a lifelong battle dealing with bureaucracy, discrimination and isolation.

As we all know, the issue of refugees and immigration has taken on urgency in the previous years. Not a day goes by that this delicate and annoying topic isn t covered by the international media.

It is horrifying and heartbreaking to witness the governments incapable of finding a solution that is beneficial for everyone. Why is this issue causing headaches for these highly educated and overpaid people in the governments, non-profit organizations and charities? Why is it so difficult to find a simple and helpful solution that ends this broken integration system once and for all? Why are these helpless people treated like dirt? Instead of taking care of these innocent people, they are sent to abandon buildings outside of the city centers. They are treated as if they are terrorists with a disease and who should be removed from society, punished and sentenced for life like prisoners.

Most refugees struggle for decades to get a permanent permission, like we did. Others struggle to find work despite having legal refugee status, which leads to difficulty finding a decent home and build a normal life and independent future. So, it is no surprise that young refugees see no solution other than to end up being homeless and doing criminal activities, such as prostitution and drug dealing.

Of course, the best solution to avoid the immigrants and refugees is to STOP creating war. But we know this won t happen as long as there are power-hungry countries that benefit from this business and make a fortune by selling weapons!

But as I always say, there is a solution to every problem. If plan A isn t working, try out plan B. After 30 years of struggling with the asylum/refugee/foreigner system in a narrow-minded and prejudice country like Switzerland, its finally time for me to speak out and be the Voice for the Voiceless.

Decades ago my mother and I experienced this failing system; first as asylum seekers, then as tolerated refugees with NO legal status or rights, and later as rejected adult foreigners.

But the solution is simple. Treat everyone the way you like to be treated, especially in times of need and desperation. Every human being should have the right to a life in dignity regardless of nationality, skin color, gender identity, religion and level of education. Every human being should be treated with respect and kindness. Every human being has their strengths and talents. Focus and nurture them instead of looking down on people and judging them by their life story, weakness and insecurity.

People are like the fingers on your hand. Each one is different and individual and yet they are connected and need each other to function. Do not stop people from further education in their field of interest and strength. Do not force people to do your dirty and low-income jobs. If someone is already down, you don t have to kick them too. Instead, help them up.

According to the Swiss media and numbers, only every fourth refugee in Switzerland is able to work and earn money. All others are forced to survive with social welfare. More than half of 93,000 refugees are under thirty. Around 50 percent of the refugees have only a simple school degree from their home country. Not allowing these refugees to integrate from day one is counter-productive for everyone. The longer these people are ignored the longer the governments have to support them financially.

According to the Italian news and numbers, of the 154,000 people migrated to Italy in 2017 and 84,000 applied for asylum. The Italian government placed less than 20,000 of those into integration programs where they learn the Italian language and get assistance for job placements.

Our motto is: Education means independence and independence means liberty. Helping one person might not change the whole world or solve the refugee crises, but it could change the world and future for one talented and devoted person! Don t forget that Albert Einstein was also a refugee!

In summer 2021 I started my online petiton #HumanityB4Nationality. And I didnt get the support that I was hoping for. So my journey as the Voice for the Voicless continues until I see positive changes in humanity and the human right of refugees!

Once a refugee, always a refugee?
Once a foreigner, always a foreigner?

Give the refugees the power to become who they were meant to be and not who they were forced to become because of war and life circumstances!
Lily Amis

Please take a moment to imagine this. You wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of shouts, bombs, rockets, gunfire, and violence. Now you have no choice: you either stay or die, or you take your family, and anything you can carry, and flee for safety. According to UNHCR, every two seconds, somewhere on the planet, someone is forced to flee. Yet too often, the world views the plight of refugees with indifference or even hostility.

The reality is harsh and only a few people understand the misery of the refugees worldwide. Sadly because of all other global crises, such as hunger and climate change, the refugee crisis is not a popular topic - even though it is happening here and now - while you are reading this.

Tell me, if you were in the refugee's shoes, how would you want to be treated in your adopted country? If you ended up in a refugee camp, far from home and everything you once knew, what kind of welcome would you hope to find? What hopes for the future would you have for your children? Well, let me answer my question with a question. What hopes does a chopped tree have? It will burn, be exploited, or abused! And that s how refugees are being treated worldwide by refugee lawmakers.

As a refugee, you not only lose your root, but you also lose the chance to grow. The refugee countries and their education and work systems STOP asylum seekers and refugees from growing and chop them off from living like a tree!

Taking away education and work chances from people just because they are asylum seekers and refugees is like killing their souls. A life without perspective, independence, and self-improvement is like being innocently sentenced and punished for life!

Being excluded from education and proper job opportunities is nothing but an emotional crime with horrible consequences for both parties. The asylum seeker as well as the asylum countries. The sooner the asylum countries realize their mistake, the sooner the refugee crisis will be under control.

People need to grow like a tree, regardless of nationality, race, skin colour, religion, and life story. Governments and lawmakers shouldn t stop the natural process of personal development just because the person is an asylum seeker or a refugee. Refugees are people like you and me. We should let them grow. Let them flourish. Give them the power to become who they were meant to be and not who they were forced to become because of war and life circumstances! Every single chopped tree in these pictures is like a refugee s life! You wonder why?

Because as a refugee you die twice. First when you leave your home country, all your belongings and your loved ones behind. And when you become an asylum seeker in your adopted country. As soon as you are registered with a number as a refugee in a foreign country, you die emotionally and mentally. Because you give up on yourself for an uncertain time. You give up all your dreams, wishes, goals, hopes, and desires. Because as a refugee you are worth nothing, less than garbage, and only good enough for dirty jobs with a low income.

Once a refugee, always a refugee? Once a foreigner, always a foreigner?
NO, not if we treat humans with humanity, compassion, kindness and dignity!

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