The United Nations’ (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. This event honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
It has been marked yearly since 2001, which marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees. This day was designated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to bring attention to the plight of refugees around the world.
For this article, let’s imagine living in peaceful co-existence, oblivious of the fact that there are differences between you, your classmates and playmates. Every day you sit side by side in class, with no idea you are divided by tribal lines for instance. When war breaks in any country, the people who suffer most are the vulnerable.
They are forced to become refugees seeking asylum in other countries. Refugees, according to the 1951 refugee convention, are persons who, owing to external aggression, occupation, foreign domination or events seriously disturbing public order in either part or the whole of their countries of origin or nationality, are compelled to leave their place of habitual residence in order to seek refuge in another place outside their country of origin or nationality.
Education is a basic right that no child ought to be locked out of. This is the ideal situation until conflicts erupt and displace people. One may not feel the magnitude of this statement till they interact with child refugees.
Xavier Project has been involved in supporting refugee children’s education in Kenya and Uganda since 2008. We partner with them to provide Shupavu 291 to refugee students. Join us for a twitter chat under the hashtag #EnezaChat with Xavier Project. We will be discussing the rights to quality education for refugees. The #EnezaChat is scheduled for Friday 24th June, 2016, at 2-5 pm.
Join the conversations as we stand #WithRefugees. The 2016 World Refugee Day’s focus was signing a petition #WithRefugees in support of refugees all over the world. This petition is meant to send a message to governments that they must act with solidarity and shared responsibility in support of refugees. The petition asks governments to:
- Ensure every refugee child gets an education.
- Ensure every refugee family has somewhere safe to live.
- Ensure every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community.