When Lidia Kleshchenko first moved from Russia to Switzerland, she had a UNHCR poster on her wall that said: “A refugee would like to have your problems”.

The poster, in eight short words, aimed to sum up the formidable challenges that refugees face every day. It was memorable for Lidia who says it continues to prompt her to “think bigger”.

“I moved here by my own will, was supported by my family and studied in a language I understood – and even this way, it was often so challenging that I wanted to give up,” Lidia, 29, says.

“How must it feel for someone who’s made this move not to pursue something better, but to escape from something more horrible? How must it feel when you don’t understand the language around you, when you don’t have the things that are considered bare minimum – a warm individual room, clean water, a good bed, fresh food? I ask myself these questions a lot.”

Lidia’s compassion towards refugees, as well as her passion for learning, has motivated her to take part in the Design for a Cause campaign – a joint partnership between Australia for UNHCR and design website Canva to help refugee children access quality education.  

The campaign asks participants to submit a drawing of one thing that makes you smile. The most inspiring drawings will be transformed into graphics and sold on Canva with the proceeds going to UNHCR education programs.

“Learning is something that makes us better members of society."

Lidia is drawing one thing that makes her smile each day until the end of the campaign on December 8. She is documenting her daily drawings on her Instagram. © Supplied

Lidia has drawn pictures of a child on their first day of school holidays, people making snowmen, children reading, and ice-cream. © Supplied

“Learning is something that makes us better members of society,” she says.

“If we want these children to be able to contribute to the world in a positive way, education is the tool. I don’t just believe it, I know it.”

Lidia, who moved to Geneva in 2014 to study a master of business administration (MBA) degree in international organisations, is drawing one thing that makes her smile each day until the end of the campaign on December 8. She is documenting her daily drawings on her Instagram.

So far she has drawn pictures of a child on their first day of school holidays, people making snowmen, children reading, and ice-cream.

“Supporting refugees seems just as obvious as helping someone who fell on the street to get up,” Lidia says.

“I don’t need to be familiar with the particular person in order to know how falling down hurts and how hard it sometimes is to get up on your own.”

Join Lidia and stand with refugees. To find out more or to submit your drawings please visit the campaign page.

SUBMIT YOUR DRAWING 

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