David Pryor, a fellow at the Institute of Politics and a former U.S. senator and governor of Arkansas, returned to the Boston area Thursday night after spending nearly three weeks in the Albanian capital of Tirana as a volunteer with the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
Pryor said he worked on a different project nearly every day, including outfitting refugee or potential refugee camps, assisting in the reunification of some Kosovar families and organizing a one-week visit to the camps by the Flying Doctors of America to set up medical clinics.
Although the work was rewarding, Pryor said that the level of help needed in the area is staggering.
"It is, I would say, awesomely overwhelming--the problems and the challenges--and I left there feeling that I had done very little to help," Pryor said.
Pryor hopes to be able to do more o rally support for the refugees back in the U.S. He has asked Wal-Mart to donate supplies to the refugees, including baby bottles, blankets, clothes and shoes. He said he intends to request aid from a number of other companies.
He will also be holding a closed luncheon with about 40 undergraduates associated with the IOP tomorrow to discuss his experiences and suggest ways that they can help the refugees.
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Room for MoreLeaving four million refugees to suffer in the poor living conditions of refugee camps with little in the way of resource or recourse is not an option.