Tuesday, June 20, 2006

World Refugee Day

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
is an impartial, non-political humanitarian organisation mandated by the United Nations to lead and co-ordinate international action for the world-wide protection of refugees and the resolution of refugee problems.
There is a 6-page pdf full-color leaflet that can be printed and shared that gives an overview of the need and the purpose of the day. There is a poster here. Many other resources are available, including curriculum materials for teachers, lesson plans and teaching tools that suggest helping people become more empathetic and open-minded in addition to promoting other particular values.

The United Methodist Church encourages us to reach out to refugees. The United Mathodist Committee on Relief has a strong emphasis on helping refugees:

Through UMCOR's Refugees/Immigration programs, congregations that reach out to refugees and immigrants in a spirit of welcome and sharing find their own lives enriched and their understanding of the world broadened. They gain a deeper insight into the biblical command, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it" (Hebrews 13:2).

Since 1940, UMCOR's mission - providing relief in disaster areas, aiding refugees and confronting the challenge of world hunger and poverty - has helped to heal the hurts of humanity in nearly 100 countries.
More resources and information on the issue and how we as individuals can help can be found at the sites linked above.

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