We Open Our Arms and Hearts on World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations to honor refugees from around the globe and bring awareness of both the hardships faced by millions of displaced people as well as their extraordinary resilience. Each year on June 20, the world recognizes the unrest that forces refugees to leave their homes. Furthermore, World Refugee Day is about offering a helping hand to support our refugee neighbors as they resettle in a new country, work toward healing, and find a new way of life in a different culture.

Of those displaced, children are especially vulnerable to the devastation of war and brutality. Save the Children, a global nonprofit that today champions the rights of the world’s 2.3 billion children, reports that the number of children living in conflict and war zones is greater than at any time in the past 20 years.

The impact of being displaced on children weighs the heaviest on the hearts of people around the world. “Trauma destroys what the child was born to be,” said Angelina Jolie in a Time article. Jolie goes on to write, “Every day more than two children are killed, and four are injured, in the conflict in Ukraine. After over 100 days of war, almost two-thirds of Ukrainian children have been displaced.”

“The conflict in Ukraine has taken the number of displaced people worldwide past 100 million—higher than ever before recorded. More than one in every 100 people worldwide is displaced, as a refugee, asylum seeker, or within their own country—beyond the population of the U.K., or France, or Germany. Of these 100 million, perhaps 40 million are children forced from their homes and their communities. For them, the future looks bleak,” Jolie remarks.

A prolific humanitarian, Jolie has prompted leaders from around the world to rethink how we approach the prevention of widespread displacement resulting from persecution, conflict, violence, and other human rights violations.

The refugee crisis is a global concern, and cooperation from nations around the world is required to create real change through action. Unity and a strong commitment to ending humanitarian violations is the key to protecting and serving those impacted by displacement and resettlement.

The students of the Elizabeth Lee Black School, Barber National Institute held a penny drive this Spring for the children of Ukraine. $1,600 was raised! Our small part in helping the refugee crisis.

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