Rasmus Hastrup (to the left), Oscar Trap and Anne Marie Boel were saddened, moved and inspired.
“My body is still shaking after hearing the personal story of the asylum seeker”, says Rasmus Hastrup, a 17-year-old student, after listening to the presentation by a member of ASIG (Asylum Seekers Information Group).
The story was about surviving the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, and how the 18-year old humanitarian disaster is still forcing people to flee from the east African country last year.
To celebrate the UN day the 24th October, Aurehøj Gymnaisum in Copenhagen invited the Asylum seekers Information Group to come and talk about the life and plights of refugees around the world. And the day had an impact on the students.
Another participant at the presentation was 17-year old Anne Marie Roel:
“I was shocked to hear how long time some asylum seekers wait for their case to be processed. Some are waiting for several years. It is grotesque. It should maximum be six months”, she says.
“My friend is a refugee”
One of the students was very interested in information about refugees from Syria, because he knows one of them.
“I was travelling in Syria three months before the conflict started. A couple of months ago I received an email from one of the very friendly people I met down there. He told me that his family now has been killed and that he is looking for protection in Denmark now. I hope his case will not take too long time to process”, he says.
43,7 million refugees
All three students that New Times interviewed were surprised by the huge number of refugees in the world. When they were asked to guess, no one was close to 43.7 million people, which is the last figure from UNHCR.
The presentation had an impact in a way that might change the world a little bit some where. Rasmus Hastrup says he was encouraged by the story of the asylum seeker to try and change things, so that genocide and wars – like the one in Syria at the moment – cannot go on without international intervention.
Inspired to help
“I am very inspired now to try to help somehow. I would like to support an organization that helps refugees, sign petitions or help in other ways. Perhaps locally as a volunteer”, he explains.
The Asylum Seekers Information Group (ASIG) is a group of asylum seekers and Red Cross Staff members that offers presentations on asylum seekers life and facts about the asylum system in Denmark and the refugee sitation on a global scale.