World Refugee Day: How does it feel to start your life all over again?

Barwako, Somalia

19 June 2023


Right now, the number of people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes is at unprecedented levels.

Over 110 million people have been displaced by war, persecution, violence and human rights abuses.

As multiple crises rage, millions more will be faced with the heartbreaking decision to leave their homes in search of safety, through no fault of their own.

So, what does it really mean to leave everything behind and run for your life? This World Refugee Day, we’ve been asking the public to spend a moment imagining what refugees and displaced people are experiencing. We also talked to refugees across the globe to hear their stories of displacement and of the lives they left behind.

What would you do if you could start your life again?

How does it feel to start your life all over again?

We asked people what they would do if they could start their lives over again.

From professional surfer, to travelling more, to spending money more wisely – people in the UK had plenty of ideas. Responses from refugees were a little different. Hussein just wants to go back to his home and live the future he was planning for. Hamdi wants to be Minister of Education, so that all girls have the opportunity to go to school.

Every day, thousands of people have to start their lives over again when they are forced to flee from disasters or conflict. But for them it’s not a choice.

You could help people fleeing from crisis

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Imagine you had just minutes to run for your life

Imagine you had just minutes to run for your life

We asked people what they would bring with them if they had just 20 minutes to pack up their lives and go. Family members, favourite possessions and pets were all popular answers.

Irina from Ukraine took a blanket and her children, nothing more. Fatoumata from Mali had only the clothes she was wearing. Hussein from Syria wishes he could have brought his mum with him.

When disaster strikes, we know that it’s not just the vital supplies that are needed. That’s why CARE and our partners are right by the side of people in crisis providing shelter, healthcare and psychosocial support where it’s needed most.

What message would you share with refugees?

What people in the UK want to say to refugees

We know there is a lot of conflicting information out there about refugees and how to support them. We asked people on the street what they really want to say to refugees around the world. Their messages might surprise you!

Fleeing your home is not a choice. Solidarity is.

We’d love you to share our video on social, and include your own message of solidarity to refugees.

Supporting refugees around the globe

Did you know that CARE was founded to send support to refugees and other people in need in the UK and Europe after World War II?

Over 75 years later, we now work in over 100 countries to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. In a crisis situation, we provide emergency supplies and support, and longer-term we help people to rebuild their lives.

People like Salma, who is one of the 14 million people who have had to flee their homes since conflict broke out in Syria 12 years ago. As the conflict raged, providing the basics for her family became almost impossible.

I lost my job when the war started. I had no income and could not buy food. My only wish was to give my children a glass of milk.”


Salma, Syria
Find out how Salma is leading her family through the crisis

Millions of people like Salma are rebuilding shattered lives and dreams right now. Join us and stand in solidarity with refugees and displaced people. Together we can support them to rebuild their lives in peace, safety and free from persecution.

You could help support refugees this summer

Donate to CARE International today