Bethany Christian Services, an organization that has welcomed and supported refugee children and families in the United States and around the world for over 45 years, expressed its support for refugees, commemorating World Refugee Day honored on June 20 around the world.
“I am so grateful for our neighbors who first came to the U.S. as refugees, as well as the individuals from refugee backgrounds that we’re honored to have on staff at Bethany. They make us better,” said Chris Palusky, Bethany’s President & CEO. “On this World Refugee Day, I am also lamenting for the refugee families who weren’t able to resettle in safety because of all-time low resettlement numbers in the U.S. and for children who are being sent away from our southern border back into the unthinkable danger they tried to escape. Thousands still wait their cases of asylum to be reviewed in the U.S. with very little hope.”
Palusky continued, “In 2020, World Refugee Day is commemorated at a time when the U.S. has closed its doors to people in need of protection, including refugees. Current policies have resulted in the deportation of thousands of children seeking safety, further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and forcing vulnerable children and families to remain in refugee camps during a global pandemic.”
In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford stated, “To ignore refugees in their hour of need would be to repudiate the values we cherish as a nation of immigrants.” As humanity faces the largest crisis of displaced people in world history – one that is worsening amidst a global pandemic – Ford’s call is timelier than ever.
“Bethany helped resettle the first unaccompanied refugee children to the United States shortly after President Ford’s call to support refugees in their time of need,” said Dona Abbott, Bethany Senior Vice President of Global, Refugee, and Immigrant Services. “Through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, more than three million people fleeing for their lives have found safety in the United States. Not only is supporting refugees the right thing to do, but the refugees who found new homes in America have become part of our communities and enriched our nation’s heritage.”
Abbott concluded, “As we commemorate World Refugee Day, we remember our nation’s historic compassion and commitment to refugees.”
Bethany will host a webinar about the refugee journey featuring staff who came to the U.S. as refugees on Tuesday, June 23, at 1:00 p.m. EST. Each staff member will share about a stage in the refugee journey starting off with life in the home country, followed by fleeing, life in a refugee camp, the process of being newly resettled, and making the U.S. home.
What: The Refugee Journey, a Webinar in Honor of World Refugee Day
When: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 1:00 PM EST
Where: Watch on Vimeo
Who: Presenters include:
- Levis Hakundwa, Employment Specialist, Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo
- Naly Nguyen, Independent Living Coordinator, Originally from Laos
- Madap Sharma, Community Resource Developer, Originally from Bhutan
- MyUyen Tran, Independent Living Supervisor, Originally from Vietnam
- Sylvia Nyamuhungu, Refugee Community Organizer, Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda
To learn more visit Bethany.org/refugees.
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