Solidarity and Compassion for Refugees
March by children, youth, trainees and the teachers of the schools showed that solidarity with refugees starts with all of us
Solidarity with refugees was a message cheered by the children and youth on the 20th June in Prishtinë/Pristina. On a big banner, #With Refugees was painted to represent support towards refugees. The children were the best ambassadors for people forced to flee, as many of their families were refugees themselves.
Passers-by in Zahir Pajaziti square in Prishtinë/Pristina tested their knowledge about refugees through a simple questionnaire. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and “PLAY International” in Kosovo jointly tried to make a friendly atmosphere for people who approached.
Panels with information on refugees showed both sad and happy stories to raise awareness about international refugees. An exhibition of refugees showed different situations, from forced displacement to finding a shelter or receiving a warm welcome from host families.
“We Stand With Refugees”
Emotional cheering of children and youth “We stand With Refugees” echoed as a small support to those who fled their homes. To date, refugees who have fled their countries to escape conflict and persecution account for 25.4 million of the 68.5 million forcibly displaced.
Children in Prishtinë/Pristina became part of the global demand that every refugee child should get an education. They were taught that 52 per cent of all refugees are children.
We were happy to see a lot of people approaching the tent to learn more about the needs of refugees, asylum-seekers and displaced persons. This triggered interest to sign the petition #WithRefugees that has been signed by 343 individuals. Thank you to everyone who signed!
The event began with opening remarks from Mr. N. L. Narasimha Rao, Chief of UNHCR Mission in Kosovo, Mr. Izmi Zeka, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ms. Ana Larderet, Head of “PLAY International” Mission in Kosovo.
Mr. N. L. Narasimha Rao, Chief of UNHCR Mission in Kosovo, said that not every child lives free and happy, as many of them are forced from their homes. He invited those present to show solidarity and compassion for refugees.
Mr. Izmi Zeka, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Internal Affairs, said that this day, the World Refugee Day, brings up memories from the past. “We know the difficulties of refugees,” he said, “this day should remind us that all people need each other.”
Ms. Ana Larderet, Head of “PLAY International” Mission in Kosovo, said that the importance of this day is linked with the highest ever seen number of the people forced to flee that UNHCR published recently.
Children and other participants march for refugees:
Those present at the marking of the World Refugee Day learned that people were being uprooted in 2017 at a rate of one person every 2 seconds and that one in every 110 humans is displaced. The number of new displacements was equivalent to an average of 44,500 people being forced to flee their homes every day in 2017.
A march by children, youth, trainees and teachers of the schools closed the event, which showed that solidarity starts with all of us.
We hope that the World Refugee Day event in Prishtinë/Pristina managed to bring to the attention the role of communities in helping and including refugees.
Written by Shpend Halili, Communications at UNHCR Kosovo
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