Each year on June 20th, countries all around the world celebrate World Refugee Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees everywhere. We decided to take that as an opportunity to make the plight of refugees the focus of our Cause of the Month, so we’re highlighting Refugees International, an organization that advocates for the protection of and assistance for refugees throughout the world.
But before we talk more about this important cause, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about what exactly a refugee is. Here’s a definition from the United Nations Refugee Agency:
A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.
There are refugees in many parts of the world at any given time, but here’s a quick look at some of the hot spots today according to Refugees International:
- Somalia: A drought and civil unrest has result in refugees in need of life-saving aid.
- Afghanistan: Extreme poverty, recurrent conflict, and natural disasters leave the majority of citizens vulnerable to displacement.
- Pakistan: Millions have been displaced by devastating floods and government-militant clashes.
- Sudan: More than 2.5 million Sudanese are displaced and it’s too dangerous for them to return home because of civil unrest.
- Democratic Republic of Congo:Ongoing conflict in the east has displaced more than 2 million people have been internally displaced.
- Burma: 55 million people are at risk of being displaced because of the lack of political progress.
- Colombia: Heavy rains and internal conflict have left millions of Colombians displaced.
Many celebs lend their status to the cause of refugees, most notably Angelina Jolie and George Clooney. But you don’t have to be a megastar to get involved in this important global issue.
On Refugees International’s website, you can explore a bunch of different ways to Take Action, including things like writing letters to Congress urging them to change their policies or get involved, directly supporting the organizations working with displaced people by donating money (read up on some of our suggested ways to raise money for an important cause), and sign up for their mailing list to stay in the loop on changing situations for refugees around the world.
Find out more about the way Refugees International works by watching this video:
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