Guest Blog: Life As A Refugee: Building a Community for the Future

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created one of the biggest refugee crises of modern times. To date, millions of refugees have fled the country in record numbers. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as of June 1, 2022, the number of refugees fleeing Ukraine is 6.9 million. This mass exodus of people has been characterized by Filippo Grandi, high commissioner of the United Nations’ refugee agency, as one of the fastest growing refugee crises in Europe since World War II.

Most Ukrainian refugees have gone to Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia, and Moldova. Refugees are leaving by car, or on foot, risking their lives travelling through war-ravaged areas in search for safety. Their homes, once thriving metropolitan areas, villages, and farmlands, have now been leveled by heavy artillery. An estimated 19,000 Ukrainian refugees have already arrived in Canada based on data provided by Canada Border Services Agency.

Against the backdrop of the modern-day exodus that is currently occurring, the London Cross Cultural Centre and its community partners will be hosting the 14th annual Life As A Refugee event: Building a Community for the Future on June 20, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. June 20 is World Refugee Day, a day which emphasizes the global responsibility to support and aid refugees and people that have been forcibly displaced from their homes. 

This day is meant to bring the world together to commemorate the strength, courage, and perseverance of the millions of refugees around the world. World Refugee Day is a chance for the world to come together and to show their solidarity and support. Our event is a recognition of the plight of those affected by the pandemic, as well as a look forward to the future of resettlement and integration.

This year, we will have Kamal Al-Solaylee, author of Return: Why We Go Back to Where We Come From, as our keynote speaker. We will once again be joined by our Refugee Panel, who will be sharing their stories of migration and resettlement. An exciting addition to this years’ event are our workshops on mental health, housing, wellbeing, and resiliency stories.

The inspirational poet and writer, Fauzia Agbonhin will be joining us to perform spoken word poetry. We will also be presenting the Engaged Refugee and London Champion Award to an outstanding refugee and refugee advocate. These awards will celebrate those who have contributed immensely to our London and Middlesex County community. 

Our Partners

This event is made possible in partnership with the Centre Communautaire Régional de London, Collège Boréal, London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership, London Public Library, LUSO Community Services, Pillar Nonprofit Network, South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre, Western Network for Economic and Social Trends, WIL Employment Connections, and the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario.

As well as a special thanks to our funders, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, TD Canada Trust, Selectpath: Professional Financial Services and Cuddy Farms.

Secure your tickets here.

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