Two years ago, a relief organization called Save the Children produced and released a video that was less than 2 minutes and followed the life of a child that went from happy to miserable as an imaginary war unfolded around her and forced her family to flee their country.
The twist is that the girl is British rather than Syrian and the war is instead happening in the U.K. As the film closes, it says,
“Just because it isn’t happening here, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.”
Many saw this video and felt compelled to help or at least support Syrian refugees fleeing the war in their homeland, but many others still don’t feel impacted by this crisis.
The reason that Save the Children even had to make a video of what happens to many Syrian families and put those issues on a British family is because humans struggle with inter-group empathy.
This means that many people are not able to feel empathy and care about people who we feel are not like ourselves. A lack of empathy for people that are different than us is dangerous and sad, as millions of refugees are unable to even find shelter after they have spent months and years escaping their home and making extremely dangerous trips to new countries.
People without empathy mixed with the xenophobic comments being thrown around by world leaders attempting to scare their nation’s citizens makes for a cruel, unforgiving situation for Muslims looking for homes.
Watch the first video below if you haven’t already:
The video’s main character is back in a sequel that shows what viewers of the last video asked: what happens next for her? She’s never named but we feel for her as the audience sees her first lose her father and in the second video lose her mother and then the only friend she’s had throughout the war. All in the midst of her just barely dodging several precarious situations.
To say that she loses her childhood innocence would be an understatement. She loses everything, and still has the strength to survive, push on, and endure racist and xenophobic remarks thrown at her by adults in new countries.
It’s powerful for the video to suggest that something of this caliber could happen in such a developed (and white) nation so that viewers can relate to the tragedy even more.
While it’s disappointing that many people need to see this video to feel any sort of compassion for what Syrians are experiencing right now, at least this organization had the foresight to see that this angle is what it might take to inspire people to take action.
Watch the sequel below and let us know what you think in the comments:
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This article (Two Years Ago, A Video About A Child Refugee Went Viral: Here’s The New, Gut-Wrenching Sequel [Watch]) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com