Friday, September 13, 2013

Hope is not an anchor; it's a sail

”Imagine if governments could tell people: What is happening to you is not right! What is happening to you is unfair! But the situation at the moment is not like that. Internal displacement is a betrayal. It’s a betrayal because someone is displacing you. And the country you are a citizen of is not protecting you. Imagine then there is a legal framework that says ”in spite of something terrible happening to you in our country, we are going to help you, because that is my right and duty as a government. That is my duty as a citizen, as a fellow brother and sister. That is hope. Hope is a sail. It can bring you somewhere. When you move forward you change something. You change what you had before, you change where you are going. And that, friends, is development. 

What was that all about?

A month ago, I was invited to do a TEDx in Arendal, Norway. And you know, it's a TED talk, so first, one goes flattered, then one goes terrified. There are strict rules for how such a speech is to be done, and one of the important rules, is that the speech has to be memorized and not read from a script. So I accepted the challenge and started the process of writing. 17 drafts later, with good inputs from my team at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center as well, and some last minute improvisation, here is the result: 

I tried to tell a story about what hope means for people in extremely vulnerable situations, starting from my own story from many years back. 
If you think this talk can be useful, feel free to share the video with your friends and network.