Live Blog: World Refugee Day events marked across Africa as displacement rises
From East to Central Africa, UNHCR is leading in celebrating the resilience of the millions of men, women and children forced to flee their homes.
A South Sudanese businesswoman poses with a UNHCR staffer in Kinshasa, DRC, where refugees set up a market displaying handmade clothes, jewelry, art and food.
© UNHCR/Andreas Kirchhof
Music, dance, art, sports, discourse - these are some of the activities that people across Africa are engaging in to mark World Refugee Day. Today, we celebrate the sheer courage and resilience of millions of men, women and children who have been uprooted from their homes due to conflict and persecution.
The event, which falls each year on June 20, salutes the courage and endurance of those who have been forced to flee. Many are also showing they stand #WithRefugees by signing UNHCR’s petition. Check back here throughout the day for updates from Africa and from around the world.
Uganda hosts over 1 million refugees, mostly from South Sudan. In Nakivale settlement, a special celebration was held to mark 60 years of hosting refugees. To commemorate the event, there were various activities ranging from fashion show, cultural dances to marathons.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
The refugee community in Tanzania's capital came out in droves to commemorate the day with song, music and dance.
This day is an occasion for us not to remember the woes of the past but to celebrate the grace and favor of being alive and well despite all anguish of the past- Refugees #WorldRefugeeDay pic.twitter.com/FvyfCArDvF— UNHCR Tanzania (@UNHCRTanzania) June 20, 2018
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Refugee artists and local artists came together to showcase their art work, portraits and other creative items at a photo exhibition. Ethiopia, which hosts over 915,000 refugees, has set a fine example in the region by implementing progressive policies that allow refugees to access services, resources and opportunities alongside Ethiopians.
At an event to commemorate the day, the Special Envoy to the Somali situation took time to highlight the significance of the world's first ever TEDx event in a refugee camp.TEDxKakumaCamp, which occured almost two weeks ago, illustrated how refugees can maximise their potential and contribute to local communities, given the opportunity to do so.
At #Worldrefugeeday day event in Nairobi @AMB_Affey talked about how @Kinglimaa story and #TEDxKakumacamp talk is great example of what refugees can achieve with opportunities and support! #WithRefugees https://t.co/LgVj8LhOA2— Dana Hughes (@dana_hughes) June 20, 2018
The power of music to bring diverse communities together is the choice of celebration for refugees and their hosts in Kakuma camp, home to over 185,000 refugees.
Music concert happening in #Kakuma camp this #WorldRefugeeDay. Performances are by our talented Kakuma artists. Street Boys,one of the best rap groups in Kakuma,performing their hit song 'Let's Party' off the #Refugeenius album @OCTOPIZZO #WithRefugees #IAmKakuma @S_Cansizoglu pic.twitter.com/QaY5c7uiOh— UNHCR KENYA (@UNHCR_Kenya) June 20, 2018
In Jijiga, refugees have come together to commemorate the event, with lavish displays of jewelry, gifts, food and fabric.
In Nakivale refugee settlement, UNHCR is joining hands with refugees and their hosts to celebrate a historical milestone - 60 years of hosting refugees.
In Dadaab refugee camp, football and a market day kicked off the World refugee day celebrations. Dadaab is home to over 250,000 refugees, mostly from Somalia.
In #Dadaab we started with a great football tournament and a market day.— Assadullah Nasrullah (@Assadullah_N) June 20, 2018
Follow us today to see how the #WorldRefugeeDay is celebrated!!!
The message is ONE: We Stand Together #WithRefugees pic.twitter.com/5mD80jpEY5
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
In Ethiopia, preparations are underway for a photo exhibition showcasing how refugees and their hosts are living side by side and thriving together.
Getting ready for #RefugeeDay in #AddisAbaba. The faces of refugees + their hosts who prove that when given the chance to work side-by-side, together they can thrive. #WithRefugees. More tomorrow! @StatePRM @USEmbassyAddis pic.twitter.com/0qBQicAG4n— UNHCR Ethiopia (@UNHCREthiopia) June 19, 2018
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
UNHCR supported refugee entrepreneurs to set up a market in downtown Kinshasa, where they sold handmade clothes, jewelery, art and food to clients. The market was organised to help refugee entrepreneurs find new customers and to sensitize the public on the refugee situation in the region.
In Nairobi, development and private sector agencies held discussions on the importance of including and empowering refugees in Kenya. There are nearly 470,000 refugees in Kenya, majority from Somalia and South Sudan.
Ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20. Great to see @IFC_org and private sector actors in ongoing FB Live discussion on including and empowering refugees in Kenya. Watch : https://t.co/DRFerHDMZN… @Refugees @UNHCRPartners @LuQuLuQuTribe @MsNeeda #WithRefugees— Yvonne Ndege (@YvonneNdege) June 13, 2018