World Refugee Day 2004: Turkmenistan
From 13 to 18 June, World Refugee Day was celebrated in the refugee settlements of Akhal, Mary and Lebap. Concerts by both local and refugee bands took place, dancing and singing competitions were organised and sports activities were held for children.
On 17 June, the voluntary repatriation of 18 Tajik refugees from the railway station Amudarya was organised by UNHCR. Representatives of the Turkmen government attended the event, which served to promote safe and dignified voluntary return of refugees to their country of origin and to increase their awareness.
On 18 June, drawing contests on the theme, "World by Children's Eyes", were held among children in Ashgabat, Mary and Türkmenabat. The winners were awarded with gifts and children enjoyed a cartoon show.
On 19 June, a puppet show was organised jointly with the administration of the National Puppet Theatre in Ashgabat City for refugee children from Ashgabat, Soltandash and Babadurmaz refugee settlements. At the end of the puppet show, a light lunch was served to all refugee children. Invited guests enjoyed a performance by Afghan and Tajik refugee children.
On 23 June, UNHCR organised a video-show on UNHCR and its activities worldwide. The video show was accompanied by a colourful performance by Tajik and Afghan refugee children, followed by a buffet for refugees and guests.