According to Ana Lucia Villagran, a Rotary Global Scholar for 2021-2022, the world's refugee crisis disproportionately impacts children and their development. She explained, “Children represent 30% of the total population and 42% of refugees”. She shared her research paper on "The Evolution of Refugee Movements and Protection, 1920-2020" at the weekly luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club of Lake Houston Area.
“Children represent 30% of the total population and 42% of refugees”, said Ana Lucia Villagran, a Rotary Global Scholar for 2021-2022, during her talk with the Rotary Club of Lake Houston Area via Zoom as its guest speaker for its weekly luncheon meeting on Wednesday, August 18, 2021.
Ms. Villagran was sharing information from her research paper on “The Evolution of Refugee Movements and Protection 1920-2020” and the impact refugee migration has on children’s development.
Her talk with Rotarians included a brief history of refugee migrations, the different causes of refugee migrations including those resulting from persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing the public order. It is estimated as of the end of 2020 there were 82.4 million people worldwide who have been forcibly displaced from their homes.
A refugee is “A person who “owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country” according to the United Nations Refugee Agency, said Ms. Villagran.
The term “Refugee” is not interchangeable with people who are asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, stateless persons or migrants, she explained. The U.N. defines and categorizes each of these groups separately.
The majority of the world’s refugees are from Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar. The country’s accepting the most refugees are Turkey, Columbia, Pakistan, Uganda, and Germany, she said.
Ms. Villagran pointed out Rotarian Bill Davis from this club has been heading up efforts to help Venezuelan refugees in Cucuta, Colombia. She also shared German Rotarian Dr. Pia Skarabis-Querfeld and her husband founded of Medizin Hilft (“Medicine Helps”) after witnessing the terrible living conditions of refugees in Germany while donating clothing in 2014. Medizin Hilft treats refugees and anyone else who cannot access medical care. More than 120 people volunteer with this project.
She will continue her education at the London School of Economics and Political Science to study for a master’s in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies. Her scholarship is generously funded by Rotary District 5890.
Ms. Villagran holds a Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University in International Studies with concentrations in forced migration, global health, and Middle East studies. After graduation, she spent a summer term in Morocco furthering her Arabic skills and learning more about the Middle East and refugees in Northern Africa. Through these experiences she developed an interest and passion to serve communities affected by conflict.
She has also worked in the non-profit sector and volunteers with the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker team. 
After her year abroad, she plans to work in humanitarian emergency management with international development organizations that serve vulnerable communities in conflict zones.
She is sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Sidcup, London and Richmond, Houston.
In other club news, Lake Houston Rotary welcomed visiting Rotarian Francisco Harrison, a founding member of the Panama Rotary Club and the only club started last year during the pandemic. The club has 25 members.
The club also formally inducted Pam Bunn from the non-profit Village Learning Centers. Her induction had been delayed from last year due to the pandemic. She moved with her husband to Kingwood a year ago when his job was relocated to Houston. They are empty nesters with two adult children and three grandchildren.
The Rotary Club of Lake Houston Area members and guests meet at 11:45 a.m. Wednesdays for their weekly lunch meeting at the Lake Houston Family YMCA, 2420 West Lake Houston Pkwy in Kingwood. The Summer Creek Satellite Club meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 8:30 a.m., at Generation Park 2nd floor board room, 250 Assay St., Houston.

For more information about Rotary, visit .