Today is the official United Nations recognized World Refugee Day. This is a day set aside to “recognize and celebrate the contribution of refugees around the world.” According to a report put out in 2008, there are over 14 million refugees worldwide. The highest number of refugees are located on the continent of Africa. The theme for this year is “Real People, Real Needs”. It is important for us to remember that refugees are not simply a statistic, instead each refugee is a person, and each person has a story. In the United States these people are located mostly in the larger cities, often together in communities where they try to keep some of their customs and way of life.
Many large cities in the US have refugee relocation organizations. These organizations have employees or find volunteers to partner with the refugees so that when they step off of the plane in a foreign and unknown country they are not alone and overwhelmed by what they experience. Many of these organizations also set up housing for these refugee families and take donations of furniture and appliances to help the refugees get started. If you are interested in getting connected and getting involved with the refugees that come to the US, check out this very informative website and find out what you can do to get involved.