30 days for refugees – Day 1

We’re spending a month highlighting all the amazing ways you can help make a difference to refugees around the world.

If you’ve ever felt helpless or hopeless hearing about the millions of people forced to flee their homes, we want to change all that so that you can do something you believe in.

You’ve already taken the first step, probably without even realising it. As Mohamed,  a refugee from Somalia, explains:

“There is a proverb in my culture which says an open heart is entered but not an open door. So if you see an open door you will not enter it, but you will enter it if the person who is there has an open heart. So I think having a great heart, it’s the first thing.”

So you’re off to an excellent start. 

But if you are going to make a difference, you need to know the basics – what is a refugee?

A refugee is a person who has fled their own country because they are at risk of serious human rights violations there. Because their own government cannot or will not protect them, they are forced to seek international protection. 

An asylum-seeker is someone who is seeking international protection abroad, but hasn’t yet been recognized as a refugee. 

But it’s always easier to understand these concepts when they have a human face.

Watch this clip, where Biniam, a refugee from Eritrea, and Duncan, who has sponsored a refugee family explain in their own words what it means to be a refugee.

Make sure you share the definition of refugee with anyone you think might find it useful – you might prefer to share Biniam and Duncan’s explanation.

Remember to share what actions you are taking for refugees by using the hashtags #IWelcome and #AmnestyCanada