June 20 is World Refugee Day. The SEIU-West Multicultural Mentorship Committee (MMC) wants to highlight why World Refugee Day is so important.
Not only does this day encourage us to think about what we can do to help, it also motivates us to be better neighbours and friends. Compassion would make this entire world a softer place for us all. Imaging leaving your home, friends, and country because you're afraid of being persecuted for your beliefs.
Let's not just pause on June 20 to reflect, let's all commit to supporting refugees on their journeys and appreciate the sacrifices and strengths of refugees that have settled in Canada. Let's look at the work that needs to be done to help over fifty million refugees/displaced persons that are at risk worldwide.
There is a huge need to create a more peaceful world. Together, we can work so that fewer people will be forced to leave their homes due to violence, war and unrest. Why is it that world peace seems so impossible, while world war seems so possible? World peace is a monumental goal, but every step we make towards it matters.
We may see a greater amount of refugees in Saskatchewan with the current situation in Ukraine. This is an opportunity. Be friends, neighbours, co-workers and citizens.
How to Observe World Refugee Day
Attend a United Nations event
The UN plans to host live digital events on World Refugee Day. If you can't attend the event, read the summaries.
Be a friend to refugees in your community
Reach out to refugees in your area. Imagine what you might need if you arrived in a foreign country with little possessions. Consider assisting with housing, meals, necessities or knowledge of the inner workings of our country. Introduce them to your community connections and help them feel welcomed.
Use your job to make a difference
Volunteer your work-related skills to a local refugee organization. If you own a business, consider employing local refugees in need of work. Mentor your co-workers if they've been hired at your workplace. A friend can make all the difference.
Support Resettlement/Refugee Programs
There are several ways to get involved and support refugees. You can donate or volunteer at various settlement/newcomer organizations to assist people that have chosen to call Saskatchewan their new home.
- Saskatoon: Nest Saskatoon – Supporting refugee settlement
- Saskatoon: Newcomer Information Centre: Support in Saskatoon – Next Stop Canada
- Regina: Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) - Regina Open Door Society (RODS)
- Humboldt: Humboldt Regional Newcomer Centre
- Swift Current: Resources | Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre
- Prince Albert: Settlement Services — YWCA Prince Albert
- Moose Jaw: Moose Jaw Newcomer Welcome Centre (mjnwc.ca)
SEIU-West Multicultural Mentorship Committee