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World Refugee Day 2003 National Activity Plan: United States of America

World Refugee Day 2003 National Activity Plan: United States of America

1 April 2003

"Refugees" crossing the border in a simulation of refugee situations at the scout camp on Vässarö Island. © UNHCR/G.Jusnes

On June 20, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie will launch World Refugee Day celebrations in Washington D.C., accompanied by a senior government official and a refugee youth.

The Poster Contest

"Shared Wishes, Shared Dreams: Refugee Youth and Us" is the central theme of the third Annual World Refugee Day poster contest, in which students in Grades 4 to 10 throughout the United States designed posters reflecting the dreams and values they share with refugee children. Three winners will get to travel to the capital and open the exhibit with Jolie, the contest's patron. Their posters will be on display at the National Geographic Explorer's Hall throughout the events.

Refugee Performances

Refugee singers, dancers, musicians and comedians from all over the world will come together to celebrate World Refugee Day in Washington, D.C. with three days of free performances for the public. These shows will kick off at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage on June 19 and continue at the National Geographic Museum on June 20 and 21.

The AJA Project is an international non-profit organisation that sponsors the education of youth in areas of violent conflict or social upheaval. The project currently has programmes in Colombia, Thailand/Burma, and San Diego. In each of these programmes, children have used multimedia to document their experience. Their work will be exhibited in National Geographic Explorer's Hall for several weeks beginning on June 19.

The Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots programme and UNHCR are co-hosting an event at the Capital Children's Museum that will feature a special appearance by UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie. This event will include hands-on activities for children, an exhibit of art by refugee children, and a cheque presentation by Roots & Shoots groups to buy soccer balls for refugee children.

Children of War

"Children of War" is a theatrical exploration of the experience of war through the eyes, voices and memories of local immigrant children. Directed by renowned actor-director Ping Chong, and sponsored by the Centre for Multicultural Human Services, "Children of War" has received rave reviews from critics. A special performance of this pivotal play will be held on June 19 in the National Geographic Auditorium.

UNHCR's Partners

Each of UNHCR's partners across the United States will receive the World Refugee Day toolkit that will help them to hold events in their own cities. San Diego and Chicago have already announced their intention to hold large-scale refugee day events.

Find out more about World Refugee Day at National Geographic, a sponsor for the World Refugee Day event in the United States of America, here.