Photo: by Kalhh, Pixabay

World Refugee Day 2022 (UN)

As of late May 2022, UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency reports that 100 million people worldwide are refugees—the highest number of refugees ever recorded.  With a painful statistic like that, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and turn our gaze away.  Here at The Guibord Center – Religion Inside Out, it’s precisely when we are confronted with the desire to disconnect that we choose to lean in.  We believe in the power of people’s stories to reveal how similar and interconnected we are even with our differences.

So take a deep breath.  Think about the stories of your own extended family.  Do you have loved ones who were forced to leave their homes because of war, famine, persecution, or other life-threatening circumstances?  Those people were refugees.  What do you know about their stories of fleeing home, seeking shelter and safety, and building a whole new life?  Were there people who helped them along the way? Were any of them able to return home after a time? Or were there members of your extended family who helped refugees escape, re-settle and re-build—people who were trusted neighbors and friends?

On this World Refugee Day, the members of The Guibord Center community urge you to reflect on your own family’s refugee stories and share them with others.  We grieve the pain refugees experience as they flee their homes to seek shelter and safety.  We give thanks for the agencies and individuals who host and integrate refugees into their cities and towns.  And we applaud the many contributions that re-settled refugees bring to their adopted communities. Find out more about the worldwide refugee crisis at UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency and consider what you can do to support those who are re-settling in your community.