Supporting Those Who Need it Most
Even though it may not be making front page news anymore, the global refugee crisis is still raging. In fact, it’s reaching unprecedented heights, with 65.6 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, according to the UN Refugee Agency. Of those, 22.5 million are classified as refugees. That’s over 22 million people looking for a safe place to call home — safe from violence, persecution, and fear.
While some countries have been actively resettling millions of refugees, the world’s poorest nations are hosting the vast majority of refugees and the world’s wealthiest nations could be doing more.
World Refugee Day is Only the Beginning
Influencing immigration policy can be slow work, and refugee families need help now. Here’s how you can support refugees in your community on this World Refugee Day and beyond:
Item number 1
Put Your Wallet Where Your Heart Is
Your donation to the International Rescue Committee or other reputable global aid organization could be instrumental for helping refugees. Our partners at the IRC work tirelessly to ensure that those whose lives have been shattered by conflict and natural disasters can regain control of their lives. By focusing their goals on health, safety, education, empowerment, and economic advancement, their work is instrumental in getting refugees the tools they need to move forward.
Item number 2
Volunteer Your Time
Many communities have local refugee support organizations that are instrumental in resettling new families and helping them feel at home in Canada. Volunteers often mentor newly-arrived refugees and help them acclimate to life in Canada, teach English language classes, or help with job searches. And if you have an especially needed skill — such as being fluent in Arabic and able to translate or are an immigration lawyer or a law student — you can make a huge positive impact on refugees in your area by volunteering your time.
Item number 3
Give The Best Gift Ever
Want to know exactly how your donation will help refugees around the globe? The IRC’s Rescue Gifts are just the ticket. With options such as a year of school for a child, a newborn baby kit, emergency medical supplies, mosquito netting, teaching supplies, warm blankets, and temporary shelters, Rescue Gifts provide basic necessities for life and dignity to refugees around the world.
Item number 4
Spread The Word
Every single refugee who is forced to leave their home because of conflict, persecution, or fear has a story — a story of perseverance, bravery, and overcoming the odds. Read them. Listen to them. Share them. Help newcomers to your community to reclaim their voice and their story. And spread the word within your social groups about how important it is to support refugees’ struggle and understand their journey. We particularly recommend these three stories about refugees from Somalia, Syria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. You can also follow the IRC on their Facebook page for more stories, facts, and ways to get involved.
Item number 5
Support Refugee-Run Businesses
Resettling in a new place can be difficult and daunting for refugees. Even harder is finding a new normal once they arrive. Finding jobs can be especially difficult, as certifications and job experience don’t always translate to the Canadian job market. So when refugees are able to start their own businesses, community support is essential to their success. From restaurants to medical practices, refugee-owned businesses are everywhere. And if you own your own business, check out the IRC’s opportunities for corporate partnerships to make an even bigger impact.