World Refugee Day 2017

By Communications and Marketing Intern, Jaylen Moulton

A refugee is anyone “outside his or her country of nationality and is unable to return due to a well-founded fear of persecution because of his or her race, religion, nationality, or political opinion.” World Refugee Day is a commemoration established by the United Nations and is celebrated annually, on June 20th. The day is meant to recognize all refugees and displaced persons for their bravery to overcome the many struggles they face when migrating from conflicted areas. The Red Cross’ extensive work with refugees directly highlights the organization’s dedication to upholding their seven fundamental principles: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity, and Universality.

This year, Red Cross staff and volunteers from the Los Angeles Region exhibited these principles when meeting in Glendale to celebrate World Refugee Day— a vibrant event filled with cultural diversity! Along with the Red Cross, a variety of organizations came out in support of this event in order to raise awareness and show solidarity with the refugee population. The event was entertaining, with performances done on stage that embraced different cultures, an uplifting speech delivered by the Mayor of Glendale, puppet shows for family fun, and even a raffle filled with great prizes that included some great Red Cross gear! There were also refugees present who went on stage to discuss their lives, which helped shed light on the challenges they have overcome and the successes they have already achieved.

The event demonstrated the plight of refugees, as well as the positivity that comes from community outreach and understanding surrounding their struggles and triumphs— reminding us all that compassion has no limits!

The message everyone takes when acknowledging, participating, and promoting World Refugee Day is simple: people are people regardless of who they are or where they come from. It is humanity defines us all!

To learn how you can become a volunteer with our Los Angeles based International Services Team, please click here!

Jaylen Moulton will be a senior at Hawthorne Math and Science Academy. She enjoys drawing, singing and of course, writing! Her college plans include majoring in Psychology and Film Studies. This is Jaylen’s first year interning with the American Red Cross.

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