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The big colourful picture

If all the forcibly displaced people of the world made up one nation, it would be the 24th largest in the world.

If all the forcibly displaced people of the world made up one nation, it would be the 24th largest in the world.

Picture all types of Canadians: newborns, seniors, teens, professionals, students, doctors, cabbies, dentists, dancers, janitors, painters, clerks, musicians, pastors, farmers, teachers, geniuses, and so on.

Now picture all 35 million of them forcibly displaced from their homes.

Hard to image, yes?

Let's consider stretching your imagination further by almost doubling this population of diversely talented caring sons and daughters; mothers and fathers; brothers and sisters; aunts, uncles, and cousins.

This is one way to try to grasp the magnitude of the estimation by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) that nearly 60 million people were refugees, internally displaced persons or asylum seekers at the end of 2014.

For more information visit the website of the UNHCR, www.unhcr.org.

Peggy Lynn MacIsaac is a doctoral student at Athabasca University researching distance education in emergency contexts with a focus on refugees.