At The Little Market, our mission is dedicated to supporting dignified income opportunities for individuals in marginalized communities all over the world. A core part of our mission is to raise awareness for human rights and social justice issues. Here on Cultural Exchange, we share avenues in which our readers can use their voices and actions to help others. Today, we are recognizing World Refugee Day.
World Refugee Day, recognized annually on June 20, is a time in which we acknowledge the contributions of refugees, recognize their resilience, and express support for those who have resettled after being forced to flee from their home countries. Individuals all over the world recognize World Refugee Day and have been commemorating this day since it was officially recognized starting in 2001.
Nearly one person is forcibly displaced every two seconds due to conflict or persecution worldwide, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.
As of June 2019, there are 70.8 million forcibly displaced people around the world, according to the UN Refugee Agency. Of this, 25.9 million are refugees, 3.5 million are asylum seekers, and 41.3 million are internally displaced people. We are seeing the highest levels of displacement on record.
How can we all support and welcome refugees? Each of us can do our part to empower refugees and make a difference.
- Help to raise awareness by hosting an event or collaborating with your social media community to spread support. Stay informed of the latest news and developments.
- Volunteer with resettlement offices and find opportunities to connect with refugees.
- Donate goods, from household essentials to school supplies.
- Shop our This is About Humanity collection. For every purchase, half of the purchase price will be donated to the This is About Humanity Fund and International Community Foundation, which works closely to meet the needs of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who are affected by violence and instability in their home countries. The organization advocates for their human rights and safety while supporting housing, medical care, and on-the-ground relief efforts.
- Learn more about opportunities in your community. Organizations such as Amnesty International’s I Welcome program and The Asylum Seeker Assistance Project are focused on guiding not only asylum seekers in resettlement, but also teaching individuals how to welcome refugees into their communities.
The Little Market is proud to recognize World Refugee Day and support meaningful income opportunities for displaced, refugee, and resettled women and Tanzanian hosts of refugees. We have developed partnerships with social enterprises supporting refugees and those who have resettled in search of safety.
Photo by John Polak Photography for Prosperity Candle
In Western Massachusetts, Prosperity Candle employs a team of inspiring women who hand-pour candles in small batches. These women, whose home countries are originally Burma and the Congo, were forced to flee from their homes at a young age. Most of them lived in refugee camps in Thailand and Burundi for many years and had the opportunity to resettle in the United States in search of brighter opportunities.
Photo Courtesy of WomenCraft
In Tanzania, WomenCraft supports displaced Burundian women who have returned to their home countries and Tanzanian artisans, many of whom host refugees. In Dallas, Texas, GAIA Empowered Women has supported women who have resettled in the United States after fleeing their home countries.
To read more inspiring stories, visit the UNHCR’s website here.
United Nations – World Refugee Day
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and UN Refugee Agency – World Refugee Day
World Health Organization – World Refugee Day
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and UN Refugee Agency – Figures at a Glance