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Making a Difference on World Refugee Day and Beyond

In Africa today more than 3 million people are refugees—forced to leave their homes due to persecution, violence, or conflict. The UN Refugee Agency—UNHCR—says the refugee crisis is particularly acute in Chad, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and Sudan.   Today, June 20, marks World Refugee Day, when the UN asks everyone to pledge one thing they will do to help a refugee.The  Do One Thing campaign is also being observed in Africa today, where 5,000 people will join in a 10-kilometer walk in Kinshasa, DRC, and restaurants throughout Uganda will donate a percentage of their meals sold to help urban refugees.

Several Aid for Africa member organizations assist African refugees in the United States.  In San Diego, Alliance for African Assistance–founded by Walter Lam, a refugee from Uganda—helps African refugees adjust to life in America by proving job training, English language courses, and housing.  The African Services Committee has been supporting Africans new to the New York City area with legal, housing, and health assistance for three decades.

Africa Development Corps, also known as Visions in Action, currently is assisting more than 80,000 refugees who have fled Ivory Coast to camps in neighboring Liberia.  And in South Africa, the Southern African Legal Services Foundation supports legal assistance to help integrate refugees living in South Africa, many of whom are Zimbabwean asylum seekers who have faced violent reprisals in South Africa.

One thing YOU can do on this World Refuge Day is to “LIKE” this post and help spread the word to support refugees.