Teenage art exhibition held to call attention to refugee issue in Pakistan
BEIJING, July. 3 (Gwadar Pro)–From July 1 to 2, youth charity art exhibition Empowering with Love: Pakistan sponsored by the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) and supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was held in Beijing, collecting works created by hundreds of children and teenagers aged 4-14 from 25 cities across China.
A total of 600 works were exhibited in the children’s art, digital and refugee handicraft exhibition area, reflecting the UNHCR’s initiative to establish a human community awareness of refugees and global green energy among children and young people.
UNHCR Representative in China, Vanno Noupech, made a video speech for this event, emphasizing “I hope that all young people participating in this exhibition can continue to use their brushes to convey love and strength by arousing the attention of refugees and environmental issues through art.”
“It is truly expected that by collecting teenager’s creative artistic works, we can show our new generation’s understanding of Pakistani refugee and environmental issues, revealing their awareness of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals,” noted an officer from CBCGDF to Gwadar Pro.
According to data released by the National Disaster Management Authority (Pakistan) in September 2022, during the rainy season from mid-June to September last year, about 1,559 people were killed, 12,850 were injured, and 1,979,485 houses were destroyed in Pakistan due to monsoon heavy rainfall brought about by climate change, not to mention 973,632 livestock were killed and 12,716 kilometers of roads and 374 bridges were destroyed, which has brought immeasurable huge losses to the local livelihood.
In addition to wars, the global refugee problem caused by natural disasters and climate change will reach a new height in 2022. UNHCR statistics showed that in the past two decades, the continuous wars and conflicts in Afghanistan have forced about 3.5 million people to be displaced, of which 60% are underage children and adolescents. Neighboring Pakistan and Iran, which are also developing countries, have accepted 2.2 million of them, accounting for about 90% of the total number of Afghan refugees in the world. Even more unfortunately, floods in Pakistan further increased the scale of climate refugees.
The sudden influx of people exacerbated the shortage of natural resources. Villages are often far apart, and limited water points require residents to walk hundreds of meters every day to get water. Facing hot weather, people have no electrical appliances for storing and preserving food and medicine. Nonetheless, over the past four decades, Pakistan has made incredible efforts to resettle and protect Afghan refugees and support the maintenance of regional peace.
How to align the Sustainable Development Goals with the global refugee plight? How can we provide sustainable, clean solutions to refugees while aiding and improving their lives? How to apply green energy and the latest renewable technology to solve the life problems of refugees? The answers to these questions are being interpreted and conveyed through artworks created by these young artists. Through different themes, they strive to use brush to reshape the fate of many people with light and warmth in Pakistan, many of whom are teenagers like them.
Empowering with Love, and Drawing Hope together. As Ma Yong, Deputy Secretary-General of the CBCGDF noted in opening speech, under the premise that climate change has a huge impact on the fate of all mankind, we should strive to make the public, especially young people, promote positive changes in response to the plight. Jointly building a “community with a shared future for mankind” is not only the obligation of China and Pakistan, but also the common pursuit of the whole world.