In the Run Up to World Refugee Day -2017

Prepared by: Caleb Wafula & Sharon Anubif | June 19, 2017

CWS unites the global community in support of refugees under the #GreaterAs1 campaign.

“In a sea of human beings, it is difficult, at times even impossible, to see the human as being,” Aysha Taryam. 

True to these words, millions of people across the globe are being rendered refugees and displaced persons at an unprecedented scale, as a result of protracted violent conflicts and disasters. It is the stated intention of CWS to unite the global community in our support of refugees under the #GreaterAs1 campaign. Accordingly, as we gear up for the week long World Refugee Day celebration. The theme is: “We stand together #WithRefugees,” and CWS Africa is partnering with other stakeholders in a number of interesting activities aimed at showing solidarity with the refugees & displaced persons.

For instance, in Kenya; the CWS Resettlement Support Center (RSC) Africa is part of the working committee formed by UNHCR organizing the commemoration. Planned activities include refugee exhibitions for the week leading up to the main celebrations on the 20th of June 2017.  The refuges will showcase and sell their handmade crafts merchandise to the general public who have been invited to visit these stands and show their support by purchasing the various items made by refugees.

A panel discussion themed “Getting to know refugees, their capacities and socio-economical contribution to the Kenyan economy” was held on the 14th of June 2017, during the onset of the World Refugee Day week long celebrations. The panelists were drawn from the local government representatives, technocrats, UN Agencies, host community and refugee community representatives as well. The conversations sought to determine whether the presence of refugees in Kenya was beneficial to the local economy.

CWS RSC Africa has also sponsored drummers of Burundian descent, as part of the RSC Africa’s contribution to the cultural refugee celebrations that will be held on the 20th of June 2017.

In South Africa, CWS under its Urban Refugee Program (URP) will be joining other stakeholders in Johannesburg to commemorate the World Refuge Day. The event targets over 300 participant, drawn from the communities, government, politicians, migrants, chapter 9 institutions, businesses etc. The key activities for the day will include: Performances, stories and entertainment by refugees followed by key note addresses from the South African government, UNHCR and Civil society representatives with emphasis on promoting and protecting the rights of refugees.