June 20: World Refugee Day

Social Justice Calendar

TRCF’s Social Justice Calendar series celebrates the days, weeks, and months that have been dedicated to human rights issues. By highlighting these lesser known but equally important holidays, TRCF hopes to raise awareness of the ongoing struggle for social justice marked by these occasions. 

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In 2000, the UN established World Refugee Day to honor the courage and resilience of the more than 43 million people around the world who have been forcibly displaced from their homes and their communities. The day was created to raise public awareness of their plight and call attention to the harsh and disruptive effects that war and violence continue to have on innocent people.

“Even though we are refugees, we are real people,” says Hawa, an Ethiopian refugee living in Kenya. “We can do a lot.” No one chooses to be a refugee. Watch the UN Refugee Agency’s videos below to hear the stories of six brave men and women who were forced out of their homes by violence.

Hawa was imprisoned, raped, and threatened with death before she escaped from Ethiopia. Against all odds, she was reunited with her mother at a refugee camp in Kenya.
Watch her story here.

Zeinab came to Yemen to escape the fighting in Somalia. Although life as a refugee is hard, she is determined to give her 18-month-old daughter a better future.
Watch her story here.

Misal Khan carried his mother out of their hometown in Pakistan as bullets flew around them. He and his family live in a refugee camp, awaiting the day that peace is restored and they can go home.
Watch his story here.

Lena was forced to leave her daughter behind the night she and her son fled Sri Lanka in a leaky fishing boat. Twenty years passed before she was able to return to her home and her family.
Watch her story here.

Thang left his home in Myanmar fearing that the army would force him to become a soldier. He is living in a refugee camp in Thailand so that he can focus on school and playing his guitar.
Watch his story here.

Hussaini‘s father sold their house to pay for his son to be smuggled out of Afghanistan, so that Hussaini could pursue his education without fear of the Taliban. Hussaini can no longer communicate regularly with his family.
Watch his story here.