An unforgettable spoken word piece explores the struggles facing refugees.

In her spoken word piece, "How Many More?" Lula Saleh shines a light on the treacherous journeys refugees endure and their uncertain futures if they survive the trip.

‌Throughout her stirring piece, equal parts poem and song, Saleh questions not just governments turning away refugees at their borders, but everyone who turns a blind eye to human suffering. ‌‌‌‌

All GIFs from Infiniti Pictures/Vimeo.


Saleh is the  daughter of immigrants and an immigrant herself, so this message is deeply personal.

Saleh is an Ethiopian-Eritrean American and spent her childhood on four different continents, so her global perspective and life as a third-culture kid informs much of her work.

Whether or not you're an immigrant, her words are poignant, thought-provoking, and more relevant than ever.

The powerful images accompanying Saleh's words also highlight an often overlooked refugee population — displaced people from sub-Saharan Africa.

With continuing crises in South Sudan, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic, and recent conflicts in Burundi and Yemen, sub-Saharan Africa now hosts more than 18 million refugees. That's more than 26% of the world's refugee population.

Additionally, millions of people throughout the continent are also displaced within their own countries due to natural disasters, ongoing violence, and conflicts. In 2015, an estimated 12 million people in 21 African countries experienced ongoing displacement. In Nigeria alone, the figure reached 1.8 million people displaced at the end of 2016.

‌Refugee children from South Sudan in Bidibidi resettlement camp in the Northern District of Yumbe, Uganda. Photo by Isaa Kasamani/AFP/Getty Images. ‌

While much of the world's attention has gone to the refugee population fleeing war-torn Syria and Libya, journeying to western Europe, it's important to remember and support organizations providing emergency shelters, supplies, education, and medical care to refugees and displaced people across Africa as well.

This is a global problem that will require thoughtful, compassionate solutions. There's enough passion, energy, and heart to go around.

‌A woman carries a flour sack during food distribution by the Catholic Church to refugees and displaced people in Juba, South Sudan. Photo by Samir Bol/AFP/Getty Images. ‌

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

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