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16 Easy and Meaningful Ways to Support Refugees for World Refugee Day 2024

June 20, 2024

Imagine living in a world where you could not go outside for fresh air, walk your dog down the street, or visit your local coffee shop. Sounds horrible, right? Sadly, for millions of refugees around the globe, this isn’t a hypothetical—it is their daily reality.

This World Refugee Day, we encourage you to reflect on how your reality compares to the atrocities faced by those forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution, political instability, environmental disasters, or global oppression.

For families fleeing violence and persecution, their journey to safety is fraught with danger and uncertainty. Walking for miles through treacherous terrain, they risk their lives in search of refuge, leaving behind everything they once knew and loved. Family bonds are often destroyed as people are forced to prioritize survival. And once refugees arrive in Canada, displaced from their homes and separated from their loved ones, finding a sense of community and normalcy in unfamiliar surroundings is often not realistic.

As Canadians, there is so much that we can all do to help our brothers and sisters successfully navigate their difficult transition to life in Canada. In honour of World Refugee Day 2024, here are 16 easy steps that you can take to support refugees in their new lives:

  1. Volunteer your expertise in fields such as law, healthcare, or finance to provide pro bono services to refugees in need
  2. Partner with local businesses to create job opportunities for refugees or offer internship programs to help them gain Canadian work experience
  3. Volunteer with local organizations that provide essential services to refugees, such as language classes, job training, and mental health support
  4. Advocate for policies that prioritize the protection and rights of refugees, including access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities
  5. Support businesses and initiatives that are owned or operated by refugees
  6. Gather gently used clothing, furniture, and household goods to support refugees in setting up their new homes
  7. Offer to tutor refugees in English or French to help them communicate more effectively in Canada’s official languages
  8. Help refugees navigate public transportation systems or provide rides to important appointments and errands
  9. Contribute to food banks or community organizations that provide meals and groceries to refugee families
  10. Offer guidance, mentorship, and support to refugees as they navigate the Canadian job market and educational system
  11. Participate in festivals, performances, and celebrations organized by refugee communities to show solidarity and appreciation for their culture
  12. Organize workshops or information sessions to educate the community about refugee issues and how they can help
  13. Assemble welcome kits with essential items like toiletries, school supplies, and hygiene products to give to newly arrived refugee families
  14. Support initiatives to increase access to safe and affordable housing for refugee families
  15. Educate yourself and others about different cultural norms and practices to foster a more welcoming and inclusive community environment
  16. Get involved in community sponsorship programs that provide financial and logistical support to refugee families during their first year in Canada

Ultimately, it is easy to say the right things for World Refugee Day and harder to take meaningful steps that will make a true difference in someone else’s life. Challenge yourself to make a real difference by taking one of the above concrete steps today.