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Monday, June 20th, is World Refugee Day. It is a day to raise awareness about refugees around the world and their situation. In the Darfuri camps that we visit, this day is celebrated with non-governmental organizations and agencies planning activities with the refugees.

I have been out visiting the camps, as I am now, for some of these World Refugee Day celebrations, and there’s always mixed feelings. It’s hard to overlook the irony of celebrating a status that you gain by having had to flee your home because of violence. Nonetheless, the refugees are grateful, especially when they see or hear that people are standing in solidarity with them on June 20th—and any day for that matter!

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is asking everyone around the world the following question:

Will you stand #WithRefugees? If you say yes, they then ask you to sign this petition.

The #WithRefugees petition will be delivered to UN headquarters in New York ahead of the UN High-Level Meeting on Refugees and Migrants, scheduled for the 19th of September. The petition asks governments to:

  1. Ensure every refugee child gets an education.

  2. Ensure every refugee family has somewhere safe to live.

  3. Ensure every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community.

Take out the word “refugee” from each of those three asks, and it’s clear that those are things that we want for every child, every family, and every person regardless of status or situation. When I hear the word “refugee,” I think of a child like Guisma—not of an abstraction, or an issue, or a problem.

On this World Refugee Day—and all days after—let us celebrate the beauty, strength, and courage of everyone that has been displaced by violence and let’s commit to supporting the path back to peace and a life of dignity.

Please stand #WithRefugees. Sign the petition and share with friends and family.

Peace, Gabriel


Help iACT continue to do what it does best:

Support refugees in the forgotten corners of the world through soccer and preschool.

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