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World Refugee Day – A Place To Call Home


Media Release

18 June 2008

 

World Refugee Day – A Place To Call Home

Every year on June 20 the world honours the courage, resilience and strength of refugees. Global attention is focused not only on the plight of refugees and causes of their exile but also on their determination and contribution they make to their host communities.

Everybody deserves “A Place to Call Home” which is the theme Refugee Services Aotearoa New Zealand (formerly RMS Refugee Resettlement) and other NGOs (Non Government Organisations) has adopted under the umbrella of the UNHCR’s global theme of “Protection”.

Friday June 20 is a particularly significant day for the current intake of 125 people from a refugee background at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre.

On World Refugee Day they will be leaving the centre to travel to their new homes in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Porirua, Hutt Valley, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch.

Former refugees from a number of different backgrounds including Bhutanese, Burmese and Eritrean will start to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity.

There are a number of events being organised throughout the country from welcoming new communities, exhibitions, cultural performances, sharing settlement experiences, to tree planting symbolising new beginnings…putting down roots in a new homeland. Former refugees rebuilding their lives in safety and dignity.

“To me, “home” is not just only where I come from or grew up! Home is where I feel part of, where I belong to in the present time. Being in New Zealand, away from the Refugee camp, from starving situation, from insecurity, from wild environment, in the middle of desert - the first time I stepped on Auckland soil, despite being nervous of starting all over again, I was stepping on my promised land.

After all those year without destiny, I finally got my new home, my new community, I am in a safe environment.

Incomparable were volunteers, social workers, cross cultural workers all from (Refugee Services) and the host community whom, without their hard work, day and night to make my integration a success, nothing could have been like I am today.

I salute their hard work and their warm welcome, their sense of humanity made me feel once again recognised, valued… I am happy to be where I can call again “Home”.

- Remy Bucumi – Senior Cross Cultural Worker – Refugee Services

For over thirty years Refugee Services has assisted more than forty thousand former refugees to resettle in Aotearoa New Zealand, a place they now call home.

To find out more how you can volunteer or support Refugee Services please visit our website www.refugeeservices.org.nz

ends 

 

 

 

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