Thursday, June 18, 2009

World Refugee Day

JUNE 20, 2009: World Refugee Day 2009

For the 42 million uprooted people around the world, a shortage or lack of the essentials of life - clean water, food, sanitation, shelter, health care and protection from violence and abuse - means that every day can be a struggle just to survive.

Real People, Real Needs

This year, with the world economic crisis threatening to slash aid budgets and amid enormous global uncertainty, we need to ensure refugees are not forgotten. That's why the theme for this year's World Refugee Day on June 20 is "Real People, Real Needs."

Of the millions of people forcibly displaced by conflict, persecution and natural disasters, every one has a story to tell; they are real people, just like you and me, and they have real needs. But, despite the best efforts of UNHCR and many others, many of these basic needs are far from being met.

A comprehensive assessment of the needs of refugees and other people cared for by the UN refugee agency revealed that 30 percent were unmet - a third of them in basic and essential services. Improvements in nutrition and water supplies, access to primary health care, strengthened child protection programmes, better protection for women from sexual violence and abuse, and improvements in living conditions and sanitation facilities are just some of the needs that are not being met worldwide.

This World Refugee Day we ask you to remember the millions of forcibly displaced and stateless people under our care who are struggling with their day-to-day lives. One thing connects them all: basic needs that must be met so they have a chance to rebuild their lives. [From the UNHCR]

Lear more by going here.

ENS Story: World Refugee Day turns spotlight on millions of displaced people worldwide

Learn more about Episcopal Migration Ministries here.

A prayer for refugees:

O God, we ask your living protection of all refugees yearning for freedom and hope in a new land. May we ever remember that the Holy Family, too, were refugees as they fled persecution. Bless, guide and lead us in faith to open doors and to open our hearts through this ministry of hospitality. Give us strength, vision and compassion as we work together to welcome those in need. We ask this in the name of Christ. AMEN

(The following is suitable for children.)

Dearest Jesus, thank you for making us all brothers and sisters in God's family. Help us to help our brothers and sisters who have no homes. Remind us to pray for them and give our gifts to help them. AMEN.

1 comment:

Rev. Kurt said...

June 19 live webcast sponsored by Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) and the Office of Communication will focus on World Refugee Day and will examine the plight of today’s refugees.

“You Mean The World To Us: Our global embrace of refugees through local resettlement” will top the Episcopal Church’s observance of the annual United Nations-designated World Refugee Day on June 20.

The Friday live webcast will begin at 12:10 pm Eastern with the celebration of the Eucharist in the Chapel of Christ the Lord, located in The Episcopal Church Center in New York City. (11:10 am Central, 10:10 am Mountain, 9:10 am Pacific). Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will celebrate and preach at this World Refugee Day-themed service.

Following the Eucharist at 1 pm Eastern, Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori and Bishop Andrew D. Smith of Connecticut will participate in a panel discussion of World Refugee Day. The panel will be moderated by Deborah Stein, director of Episcopal Migration Ministries.

The Presiding Bishop will reflect on the church’s long-standing commitment to refugees and Bishop Smith will speak about the impact of ongoing resettlement in his diocese. Members of an interfaith sponsorship team that includes St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wilton, Connecticut and an Iraqi refugee family they helped to resettle will also share their experiences.

The live webcast of the Eucharist, beginning at 12:10 pm Eastern, is expected to be 35 minutes. The live webcast of You Mean The World To Us, beginning at 1 pm Eastern, is expected to be 45 minutes.

Questions for the panel can be submitted by emailing

The live webcasts of the Eucharist and You Mean The World To Us can be accessed on the home page of The Episcopal Church