Wellbeing & Wellness
Today Marks World Refugee Day
World Refugee Day is, at its core, a day about raising awareness about refugees and asylum seekers. The United Nations (UN) organize this day, and it aims to not only broaden awareness of the subject but encourage others to assist wherever they can, as well as to discourage ( and hopefully eventually eradicate ) discrimination against people in these groups.
Everyone has the right to safety. Unfortunately, this right is often infringed upon. The number of people forced to flee conflict and human rights violations have now surpassed 100 million globally. So what can we do to help out?
WHY GET INVOLVED
As stated: everyone all over the world has the right to live safely. They have the right to be treated with respect, to have their dignity valued and to feel protected and secure. People forced to flee their homes should be welcomed by any and all who can; they should be protected by their community, even if that community is entirely new and in an entirely new country.
Many of us will never know the terror of being forcefully displaced from our homes. Whether it’s because of war, threat due to discrimination, violence or human rights violations, it is an incredibly harrowing and often horrifying experience. Not to mention a lonely one. World Refugee Day reminds us to push empathy to the front. It’s the least we can do, the easiest way to begin lending a metaphorical hand.
People who have become refugees show extraordinary strength and endurance, though we wish they wouldn’t have to. To do so in the face of such tremendous plight is an extremely resilient act. Today, and each day, we should work to further our own understanding of and empathy towards this. The world should work collectively to avoid catastrophes that force people to abandon their homes. For now, here are some smaller ways to get involved.
MAKE A DONATION
There are a wealth of charities and organizations dedicated to providing refugees and asylum seekers with clothing, food, shelter and more. We would recommend having a look into which you, specifically, would want to support.
Some provide general aid to many countries and people affected by war or persecution. Some provide localized assistance and supplies to certain parts of the world and communities. It’s up to you who you choose. At the same time, it’s totally up to you how much you donate! Even a fiver could mean a hearty meal for another person. To that person, it could mean more than you’d ever know.
ATTEND A WORLD REFUGEE DAY EVENT
World Refugee Day heralds the start of Refugee Week. Therefore, don’t despair if you’re only finding out about this today. You’ll be able to attend many events scattered throughout the week, all through London especially.
You can find a number of educational talks, similar to TEDtalks, usually held in universities or museums. Additionally, there are even musical performances, solidarity walks taking place and communal bike rides occurring. These events often raise money to assist those who have been forcefully displaced and who have had to flee their homes. It’s a great way to help out and spend some time with your community.
TAKE PART IN MUTUAL AID
You can directly involve yourself through mutual aid. What is mutual aid? Mutual aids generally are initiatives, led by volunteers, where a community joins together to provide care and essentials within itself. For example: running errands for those who cannot do so easily themselves, cooking and sharing hot food with those without homes, spending time with / assisting a new neighbour who may have just moved in and much more.
This can be within your own community, or you can volunteer to help out with specific initiatives in other communities. People who happen to be resettled refugees are vital members of our own communities. Giving back to them after everything they’ve been through is something incredibly joyful. Besides that, our communities are what make us as individuals strong, so we should always be looking out for one another.