World Refugee Day 2020 // Everyone Can Make a Difference. Every Action Counts
World Refugee Day 2020. Everyone can make a difference. Every action counts.
We mark this World Refugee Day in the midst of dramatic social change.
A pandemic has tested our strength and highlighted systematic inequalities. It has also connected us in new ways and renewed our motivation to act for equality.
In the time of COVID, we celebrate refugees who are on the frontlines fighting this pandemic, their hosts and the aid workers supporting them. We have seen everyday heroes from all walks of life step up to join the front lines.
No matter who you are or where you come from, pandemic or not; everyone of us can make a difference. Every action counts.
Join us in creating an inclusive world.
There will be virtual events taking place all over the globe, and here in Cyprus. Join us!
Friday 19 June 2020 // 19:00-23:00 Local Cyprus Time
This year’s World Refugee Day Street Festival organised by UNHCR Cyprus’ partner NGO the Cyprus Refugee Council goes virtual and will bring bring to you, wherever you may be, one of its most integral and magical flavours: the music! Join the 7th World Refugee Day Festival 2020 Online Edition on the Cyprus Refugee Council FB page, and watch DJ Claudio streaming music from all over the world, joining the pulse of the refugee communities on the island.
See the official event page for more info.
Saturday 20 June 2020 // 21:00 Local Cyprus Time
Following last year’s successful concert on World Refugee Day, Alexia will hold a virtual concert on this year’s World Refugee Day, Saturday 20 June. Alexia and her special guests will remind us that everyone, including refugees, can contribute to society and that every action counts in the effort to create a more just, inclusive, and equal world. The concert will stream at 21:00 on Alexia’s official YouTube channel and will also be screened in the open space in front of the Rialto Theatre (Heroes’ Square) in Limassol.
Video series // Meet refugees who are making a difference!
On the occasion of World Refugee Day 2020, we went out to meet refugees in Cyprus who are making a difference, for their families, their neighbours, their communities, and for the local Cypriot society. Everyone can make a difference. Every action counts. #WithRefugees #WorldRefugeeDay
Meet Marcella and her boys!
Marcella is a multi-talented Iraqi-Egyptian mother of two boys. She is a trained engineer, and once ran her own media company. Now, a recognized refugee, she works as a florist in Cyprus, where she has been living for five years. Marcella is also a gifted creative writer and storyteller. She recently invited us into her home to share her story about the Kingdom of Colours with us. It is a story all about love and acceptance.
Meet the teenagers who are volunteering to sew facemasks!
Unaccompanied asylum-seeking teenagers in Cyprus, who for various reasons, such as war and persecution, have lost or have been separated from their families, live in shelters around the island. Once they come of age, they must leave the shelters and fend for themselves as young adults, many without the necessary language skills or any vocational training. None of these children have any family network to support them through this transition. In an initiative led by the Occupational Therapy Programme of the European University Cyprus, some of these youngsters are volunteering to sew facemasks together with students from the Programme who are on practical placements. Through this experience, the asylum-seeking children get an opportunity to give something back to the host society, while also learning valuable skills that can help them in their transition into adult life. The facemasks will be given to refugees and other vulnerable groups in Cyprus, such as the elderly, in collaboration with local authorities and organisations such as the Multifunctional Foundation of the Nicosia Municipality.
Cooking with asylum-seeking women under the care of Caritas
In collaboration with Caritas Cyprus we recently had the opportunity to meet a group of asylum-seeking women living in Cyprus who decided to cook together and present their traditions and stories on the occasion of #WorldRefugeeDay. Having fled from danger and persecution, these women are particularly vulnerable, but under the care of Caritas they feel safe again. Their future is unknown. Without their own families to support them, they help and support each other, creating together a new sense of home. Meet the pastry chef and the mothers from Cameroon, and the nurse from Eritrea!
Learning, friendship and community-led action
The Learning Refuge in Pafos is a community-led space where the kindness of volunteers meets the needs of families, including refugees, in the wider Pafos area. Under this Caritas Pafos initiative, people from all walks of life from Cyprus and different parts of the world come together and support each other through art, language lessons, theatre workshops and much more. Volunteers at the Learning Refuge also collect and distribute food and other items in order to assist families in the area – an endeavour that took even more effort and priority during the recent pandemic lockdown. Through all this kindness towards others from people like Mary, Anne, Rehab and her daughter Rama, and the safety and warmth that is created, individual lives are changed, and lasting friendships and memories are formed.
UNHCR’s Global Trends Report
UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report, which comes two days ahead of 20 June World Refugee Day, shows that an unprecedented 79.5 million were displaced as of the end of 2019. One per cent of humanity is displaced. UNHCR has not seen a higher total.
Other events and volunteer actions marking World Refugee Day 2020 in Cyprus
Thursday 18 June 2020 // 18:30-19:30 Local Cyprus Time
On the occasion of the World Refugee Day 2020 the AWARE Campaign organized a Multicultural Live-Streamed Event with refugee and asylum-seeking artists and musicians from different parts of the world. Participants performed and sent their messages against racism and xenophobia raising awareness about the need for mutual respect between host societies and refugees.
The AWARE campaign is co-funded by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Republic of Cyprus.
AGABI means love! Refugees in Limassol are volunteering, giving back to their community.
AGAPI Limassol Cyprus honours and appreciates all refugees who have given their time and energy to help our work. Their kindness, compassion and contribution are inspirational and a testament to how anyone can become an essential asset to any society.