On Friday, September 30, our students were treated to a very special Skype session with Semih Bulbul of the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees. He explained his humanitarian work involving the Syrian refugee crisis and answered student questions. Semih was born and raised in Ankara, Turkey. He was hired by UNHCR in 1988 and began working in the Ankara office. In 1992, UNHCR sent him on a mission for 9 months to Cambodia during which he met his future wife. After 10 years in the Ankara office, Semih left Turkey and has since been posted in Kosovo, Macedonia, Iraq, Bosnia, Switzerland, and is now on a second mission in Iraq (since early 2014).
Mr. Bulbul answered questions on topics such as “What is a typical day in a refugee camp?” and “How do they help orphans?”
After we hung up with Semih we located the conflict on a map and discussed the historical origins of conflict in the region. The students also discussed how youth could participate to make a positive impact on the humanitarian crisis.
One student was so moved by the presentation, she has changed her FlexSchool community impact project to designing ways to help with the humanitarian crisis in Syria.