Tuesday, June 20, 2006

World Refugee Day today; Centennial Park refugee camp in October

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition sent this press release promoting World Refugee Day, which is today, June 20, and announcing a refugee camp exhibit in Centennial Park for October:

The United Nations General Assembly designated June 20, 2000 as World Refugee Day to recognize and celebrate the contribution of refugees throughout the world. Since then, World Refugee Day has become an annual commemoration marked by a variety of events in over a hundred countries. This year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will commemorate World Refugee Day for the sixth time with the inspirational theme: “Hope,” in order to draw the public’s attention to the millions of refugees worldwide who are forced to flee their homes. An estimated 33 million people worldwide are displaced by conflict, fleeing violence in countries such as Afghanistan, Colombia, and Sudan. The day is also an excellent opportunity to reflect on the life stories of many of our refugee neighbors here in Tennessee, and the amazing diversity they bring to our state.

From October 4-8, Nashville will host "A Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City." This interactive outdoor exhibit in Centennial Park is sponsored by Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian organization that delivers emergency medical aid to people displaced by war and natural disasters. At the exhibit, aid workers will guide visitors through the camp where they will explore real shelters, see how food is distributed, taste the high-energy biscuits distributed to combat malnutrition, learn how clean water and waste disposal are essential to survival, and understand basic health care and epidemic control. Interactive and educational, the refugee camp exhibit will ask visitors to imagine that they themselves have been uprooted by war, and encourages them to consider: Will I be safe? Do I have any rights? How long will I be here?

If you would like to sign up a group for a visit to the refugee camp exhibit, the request form and submission instructions are available here.

Focus: Justice

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