Experience the lives of refugees on World Refugee Day
What's it like to be a refugee? To witness your family torn apart by war and conflict? To lose everything you value - family, friends, your home - and be forced to flee in order to save your life? To travel hundreds of miles, on foot through dense jungles and in leaking boats across dangerous seas?
This is a journey made by millions of refugees as they flee war, conflict, human rights abuses and persecution. People often misunderstand who a refugee is, thinking that they are migrants looking for economic opportunities. The truth is refugees have no choice but to run, and are unable to return home safely.
In Malaysia, as of June 2011, there are some 93,000 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with the UN Refugee Agency. The majority of them from Myanmar, but many also from other countries around the world including Sri Lanka, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Their journey, and the journey made by millions of other refugees worldwide, is one that is hard for us to imagine. What we know is that in the wake of having lost everything, refugees have an incredible courage and perseverance to remain steadfast and positive in their will to survive. But they need our compassion and understanding and a humanitarian space to be able to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity.
20 June is World Refugee Day. It is a salute to the indomitable spirit and courage of the world’s refugees. World Refugee Day 2011 puts a human face to the refugee issue, that behind the numbers and statistics are real people with real stories and real dreams and desires for a life of safety.
What's it like to be a refugee? Walk a mile in a refugee's shoes and experience the lives of refugees at the World Refugee Day celebration at the KL Sentral Station on 18 and 19 June 2011 from 9.00am till 4.00pm.
UNHCR’s event has been generously supported by many donors, namely:
Deromp Marketing Sdn Bhd, Diners World Travel Sdn Bhd, Halus Sutera Sdn Bhd, The Kl Players, Lionex (M) Sdn Bhd, Paraframe Systems Sdn Bhd, Park Royal Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Pitacom (M) Sdn Bhd, Rotary Club of Bangsar, Sega Irama Light and Sound, Stesen KL Sentral, artist Chong Jit Leong, Students of Taylor’s College, Celebrities and performers, individuals and friends of UNHCR, UNHCR Volunteers and Refugee communities