This World Refugee Day, Every Action Counts: How to Get Involved

This Saturday, June 20, marks World Refugee Day, a day to raise awareness about the millions of refugees and forcibly displaced people across the globe.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 70 million people — refugees, internally displaced people, asylum-seekers — have been forcibly displaced worldwide. Every minute, roughly 20 people will be forced to flee war, terror, persecution, disasters and the devastating effects of climate change.

This year, the UNHCR’s World Refugee Day campaign theme “Every Action Counts” recognizes the recent protests for racial justice because we “need to fight for a more inclusive and equal world: a world where no one is left behind.” The UN has even partnered with Twitter this year to release a limited-time emoji to help raise awareness on the social media platform.

CREDO’s grantees are also recognizing World Refugee Day with special events and actions. Here’s what Mercy Corps, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Rescue Committee are doing to commemorate the day and raise awareness for the millions of refugees around the world.

Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a global team of humanitarians, working together on the front lines of today’s biggest crises to create a future of possibility, where everyone can prosper. In more than 40 countries around the world, Mercy Corps works side by side with people living through poverty, suffering and oppression in their struggle to build a better future. Since 1999, CREDO members have helped us donate $346,732 to Mercy Corps.

For World Refugee Day, Mercy Corps is asking people to join them to view a new 36-minute documentary film, Terror and Hope, The Science of Resilience, by Portland filmmaker Ron Bourke. Terror and Hope offers a singular view into the impact of war on children. It will be available for viewing between June 14 and June 20, and they will be hosting a live discussion on June 18 at 5:30 PST / 8:30 EST. Learn more here.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières

The Americas region is now the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic—with the largest numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and Brazil. Among those worst affected by the pandemic are people on the move: refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants living in difficult and dangerous conditions, and with limited access to health care.

Ahead of World Refugee Day, MSF will be hosting a webinar with experts about the impact of COVID-19 on refugees and migrants in the Americas. Learn more here.

For World Refugee Day, MSF-USA will also share a moving story about an MSF staff member in Nduta refugee camp in Tanzania, who fled his home country of Burundi in 2015, and embarked on a courageous journey; cycling from his hometown, across the country and into Tanzania where his life as a refugee began. They will share this first-person piece along with some photos of him and his family in Nduta camp, home to 75,000 Burundian refugees, with the hope of humanising refugees in Tanzania and across the world by showing their strength, kindness and resilience. Visit MSF USA’s website for more information.

Since 1991, CREDO members have helped us donate $1,819,812 to MSF.

International Rescue Committee

Since COVID-19 has taken hold of our lives, the world has seen and heard — rightly so — hundreds, if not thousands, of stories of front-line and essential workers. But not many stories of refugees on the frontlines.

This World Refugee Day, the International Rescue Committee will be highlighting stories from refugees all around the world who are also on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19. Because in the battle against COVID-19 and beyond, refugees are essential to keeping communities safe, making society stronger and rebuilding our world. We will show the refugee doctors and nurses and community healthcare workers, but also volunteers, food distributors, mask makers.

The organization is urging people to visit their social media channels to share the stories of refugees on the frontlines. Visit them at @RESCUEorg on Twitter, @rescueorg on Instagram and InternationalRescueCommittee on Facebook on or after June 15 – but especially on June 20th, World Refugee Day, to take part.

Since 2015, CREDO members have helped us donate $83,599 to the International Rescue Committee.