CMHR showcases a refugee exhibit showing stories of resilience and community

By Keira Enns

Refugees shared their stories of coming to Canada and making a home for themselves at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights’ Museum Without A Home exhibit on Nov. 12, 2019./ENNS

Museum Without a Home celebrates refugee women and girls and the goodness of those who have helped them.

On Nov. 12, 2019, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights hosted the award-winning exhibition, Museum Without a Home, by Oxfam Canada.

The evening showcased items belonging to refugees who have come to Canada – one of these items was a tent that had been a typical dwelling in a refugee camp – and women shared stories of their journey to Canada and highlighted some of the display items which have significant meaning to them.

An Oxfam associate, 57-year-old Lauren Ravon, opened the event by welcoming everyone and giving a brief overview of the organization and its purpose. Oxfam Canada is a global movement fighting the injustice of poverty and inequality while promoting women’s rights.

“We are planning to work more with refugees and seek resources for the coming years,” said Ravon. “Last year, 70 million people around the world were forced to flee their homes because of conflict, persecution, and injustice.”

People look at the items on display at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights’ Museum Without a Home exhibit on Nov. 12, 2019./ENNS

A Brandon University student, 22-year-old Ashwag Elfalf, came to Canada as a refugee from Jordan through the organization.

“I feel so good and very glad to be here,” said Elfaf. “I feel honoured to be able to speak and tell my story.”

She told the audience about how her notebook and pencil symbolize the years she lived in Jordan under severe conditions. She spoke of how joyful she was to be able to reach her dream of being able to get an education and live in this country.

“I would like to say thank you for the friendship and the generous support for refugees. Thank you so much to all Canadians,” said Elfaf. “It is because of you I get to share my story.”

A goal for Oxfam Canada is to bring Museum Without a Home to all Canadian cities and share stories of resilience for refugee women and children who have rebuilt their lives.