What is World Refugee Day?

World Refugee Day is an annual event celebrated on June 20th. The day highlights the resilience and courage of refugees who flee their homes due to conflict, persecution, or natural disasters. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about the challenges that refugees face and to show support for them. 

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports that the number of displaced individuals worldwide has reached a historic high of 108.4 million. Let’s think about that for a second. This number means over 100 million individuals are forced to flee their homes, risking their lives to provide a safer environment for themselves and their families. 

World refugee day image of children

Refugees are Humans Too

Sometimes when we hear the stories on the news or read about the statistics, we might forget to realize that refugees are humans too. Though it is important to recognize the number of displaced families around the world because it points to the gravity of the situation, it is as equally important to view refugees as individuals with hopes and dreams they’re trying to achieve.

When we focus solely on the numbers, we can overlook each individual’s personal stories and struggles. This dehumanization can lead to stereotypes and bias, resulting in discrimination and further marginalization. 

So as we celebrate World Refugee Day, remember that we are all a part of one human race. Those families fleeing persecution are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. Let’s engage each one with love and compassion and work together to create solutions to help them find a new home.

A home where:

  • Violence and persecution are no longer the norm. 
  • Children can grow up as children in a safe environment.
  • Compassion and inclusion are the order of the day.

In this article, we’ll highlight 15 ways we can each do our part to make a difference as we celebrate World Refugee Day.

15 Ideas to Celebrate World Refugee Day

1. Attend a virtual event for World Refugee Day.

Many organizations host virtual events to celebrate World Refugee Day. You can attend these events to learn more about refugees and their experiences.

2. Donate to a refugee organization.

You can donate to a refugee organization to support their work. Your donation helps to provide refugees with essential items such as food, shelter, and medical care.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few organizations you can check out.

Nonprofits that support refugees in the U.S.:

Organizations that help support refugees around the world:

Always do your research to ensure that you’re supporting an organization that aligns with your values.

3. Volunteer with a refugee organization

You can volunteer with a refugee organization to help refugees settle into their new communities. You can help with language tutoring, job training, or community outreach.

Volunteer with a refugee organization image

4. Share refugee stories on social media.

You can use social media to share stories of refugees and their experiences. This can help raise awareness about refugees’ challenges and show support for them.

Here are a few popular hashtags you can use on social media:

  • #WorldRefugeeDay
  • #WithRefugees
  • #SafetyForAll
  • #RefugeesWelcome

5. Attend a refugee film festival.

Many cities host refugee film festivals to raise awareness about the experiences of refugees. You can attend one of these festivals to learn more about their stories.

6. Write to your elected officials.

You can write to your elected officials to urge them to support policies that help refugees. This can include policies that provide refugees with legal protection, access to education, and healthcare.

7. Host a fundraiser for World Refugee Day.

You can host a fundraiser to raise money for a refugee organization. This can be a fun way to get your school, business, or community involved in supporting refugees.

8. Organize a cultural event.

You can organize a cultural event to celebrate the diversity of refugee communities. This can include a food festival, dance performance, or art exhibit.

9. Learn about refugee cultures.

You can learn about the cultures of refugees to better understand their experiences. This can include learning about their traditions, music, and art.

10. Attend a refugee art exhibit.

Many cities host refugee art exhibits to showcase the work of refugee artists. You can attend one of these exhibits to support their work.

11. Host a refugee speaker.

You can host a refugee speaker to share their personal experiences with your community. This can help raise awareness about the challenges that refugees face.

12. Support refugee-owned businesses.

You can support refugee-owned businesses by shopping at their stores or eating at their restaurants. This can help support their economic integration into their new communities.

Refuge Coffee Co. is a great example of an initiative that serves the refugee community. Their mission is to use a delicious cup of coffee as a platform for job training and personal development of resettled refugees and other immigrants.

Check out the Refugee Coffe Co. video below.

13. Advocate for refugee rights.

You can advocate for refugee rights by joining a local or national organization that supports refugees. This can include organizations that provide legal assistance or advocate for policy changes.

14. Educate yourself on refugee issues.

You can educate yourself on refugee issues by reading books, watching documentaries, and attending lectures. This can help you better understand the challenges that refugees face.

Here are a few recommended films you can watch:

Recommended books by authors who have experienced displacement:

15. Show kindness to refugees.

Finally, you can show kindness to refugees by welcoming them into your community and treating them with respect and compassion. This can help refugees feel more welcome and supported in their new homes.

Final Thoughts on Ways to Celebrate World Refugee Day

In conclusion, there are many ways to celebrate World Refugee Day. Whether you attend a virtual event, donate to a refugee organization, or show kindness to refugees, your support can make a difference in the lives of refugees.

We want to hear from you.

If you think of any additional ways to help support refugees, please drop them in the comments section below.

P.S. To join in on the conversation, check out our 2023 Cause Awareness Calendar to plan ahead for important awareness days, weeks, and months that align with your values and interests.