By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Creative Commons by SA-NC via Bing
June 13, 2021 (San Diego) – June 20th is World Refugee Day, celebrating the strength and courage of refugees. The event honors refugees around the globe and commemorates the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Refugees are people who are forced to flee their homelands to escape dangerous conditions such as war, persecution or natural disasters.
This year’s theme is “together we heal, learn and shine.” The United Nations Refugee Agency website (UNHCR) states, “Join us this year on World Refugee Day and support refugees across the globe to be protected and included in health care, education and sport.”
The agency is accepting donations to help refugees with healthcare and education, ad is also hosting a refugee art contest with a “together through sports” theme. Per the UNHCR site:
Access to health care and medical support saves lives. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, works together with partners and host communities to make sure that people forced to flee their homes receive the care they need.
Education helps people forced to flee build better futures. We are working together with partners to provide refugee children access to quality education so they can pursue better lives.
Sports can enrich the lives of people forced to flee their homes. It can boost mental health and help refugees gain confidence, forge new friendships and feel welcome. In our work to protect refugees, we use sports to create safe and protective environments where everyone can discover their potential.
World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for the plight of refugees and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives. The occasion also shines a light on the rights, needs and dreams of refugees, helping to mobilize political will and resources so refugees can not only survive but also thrive.