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World Refugee Day 2017

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It is June and that means it’s time for one of the best international holidays: World Refugee Day. This holiday might not get a lot of attention, however it is an
occasion for exciting celebrations. In 2000, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 20th World Refugee Day, and since 2001 every year around June b2ap3_thumbnail_World-Refugee-Day-9.jpg20th cities throughout the world celebrate the accomplishments, traditions, and contributions of refugees.

This year Catholic Charities participated in World Refugee Day festivities on Tuesday, June 20th. The World Refugee Day event was hosted by Levine Museum of the New South and Refugee Charlotte. Refugee Charlotte is a group of local individuals working directly with newly resettled families through non-profit organizations and resettlement agencies. Catholic Charities, Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency, ourBridge for Kids, Central Piedmont Community College, and Refugee Support Services are some of the agencies that participated in the planning process. During the event, participants were shown the documentary After Spring, which is a film that focuses on the Syrian crisis. Participants were able to see what it is like to live in Zaatari, the largest refugee camp for Syrians. The film followed two families and the aid workers who helped them.

Around 100 people were in attendance, which included refugee agency workers, refugees, local Charlotte residents and a few visitors. Light refreshments were provided by the Common Market. After the film, attendees were able to speak to some of the local agencies that work with refugees. These agencies included Catholic Charities, Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency, ourBridge for Kids, and Refugee Support Services. Information was provided to participants about how to volunteer, the needs of the local agencies and general information about services they provide. Catholic Charities representatives were excited to play a part in the planning process as well as assist participants in finding ways they could get involved with the community.

 

Written by Susan Jassan,
Refugee Resettlement Director (Acting)
and Lashonda McGregor,
Employment Specialist

Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte © 2014