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World Refugee Day 2018: What You Need To Know

69 million people fled war, violence and persecution this past year, including 25.4 million refugees and 10 million stateless.

Danielle Germain

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Recognized by The United Nations and about 100 countries around the world — Wednesday, June 20 has been marked as World Refugee Day.

 

The UN defines a refugee as “someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence.” This day was first celebrated in 2001, created by the UN to celebrate the resilience and strength of refugees and their contributions to society.

A majority of refugees are currently from Syria, where 6.3 million people have fled to escape conflict. Even worse, more than half of the refugees, around the world are under the age of 18.

“The United States will continue to prioritize the admission of the most vulnerable refugees while upholding the safety and security of the American people,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement. He noted that the United States as accepted more than 3.3. million refugees for permanent resettlement, more than any other country in the world.

According to Fast Company here are five ways you can help refugees everyday, not just today:

  • UNICEF works on the ground to protect children in crisis. They take care of basic needs like offering food and water along refugee routes, creating child-friendly spaces in refugee camps, and places where women can rest and take care of their babies. Donate here.
  • In the U.S., sign up to volunteer at a local refugee resettlement office here.
  • If you have legal experience, or are looking to gain some, join the International Refugee Assistance Project or learn more about it here.
  • Doctors without Borders, a.k.a. MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières), works around the world to provide important medical services to refugees. Click here to learn more about donating your time or money.
  • Sign up to host refugees through Refugees Welcome. You can volunteer to provide shelter to refugees by renting to them or offering to invite them in and room with them, kind of like Airbnb. The organization will even help you pay your rent and cover extra utilities.

This problem is bigger than all of us; the solution comes together, when we do.

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Danielle Germain (she/her/hers) is originally from Long Island, New York. She is a rising junior at The American University, majoring in Broadcast Journalism, and minoring in Political Science. She partakes in various activities on campus. Danielle is a Teacher's Assistant, the Vice President of Programming for Caribbean Circle, The Social Media Director and Web Manager for The Blackprint, Programming Coordinator for Founder's Week Committee, Senior Communications Strategist for AUSG Center for Advocacy and Student Equity or CASE, Secretary of the Junior Class Council and a Club Consultant for American University Club Council. After learning more about herself freshman year, Danielle became deeply interested in pushing diversity and inclusion forward. Since then, Danielle has started The Purpose, a bible study for students of color at AU. By creating a safe space on campus, she hopes that the voices of those who feel underrepresented are heard and also valued. In her free time, Danielle enjoys going to brunch and watching Gossip Girl. This past summer, Danielle served as the Corporate Communications Intern for Macy's Inc. Danielle has a passion for politics and a love for writing, and one day hopes to become a political commentator for CNN. She can be reached at dg0060a@student.american.edu.

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