According to the UNHCR, there are around 80 million forcibly displaced people around the world. Due to COVID-19, this number has increased by over 10% in the past year.
Among them are nearly 26 million refugees, around half of whom are below the age of 18.
67% of all refugees originate from just 5 countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar.
However, refugees are more than just numbers on a report of the atrocities in our world.
A refugee is someone who has the courage to survive and fight in order to create a better future. Refugees are resilient individuals who want to ensure that they can live to see joy in themselves and their families. Amidst war and persecution, refugees struggle for freedom and demonstrate that hope will always prevail.
Every year on June 20, we celebrate the strength of refugees who are forced to leave their homes and countries to escape conflict. World Refugee Day is “an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives” (UNHCR). We also echo the calls of our partners in the field to strengthen advocacy and raise awareness to continue to ensure that refugees (and conflict-affected communities) have access to equal opportunities, education, health, and safety.
This year, our Paper Airplanes community is honoring the refugees who continue to show courage and resilience in the face of hardship - to educate themselves and those around them, to help their communities post-pandemic, to shine and showcase their accomplishments, and strive to build back better communities despite conflict. Your hard work and dedication to learning is commendable, and you all are proving that life has no limitations.
No matter how hard things get and no matter how dark the world becomes, together we can heal, learn, and shine!
From our Paper Airplanes family to you, happy World Refugee Day! We hope this day continues to inspire change with, and for, refugees.
About the author:
My name is Soumya Adusumilli and I am a first-year business administration student at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. I truly enjoy reading, writing, and watching movies in my free time. I have been a part of Paper Airplanes since 2018 and I'm glad that I have the opportunity to continue my journey with this inspirational organization. I am also involved in entrepreneurship and lead The Intrepid which is the voice of my college's entrepreneurship community. In the future I hope to accomplish my lifelong dream of visiting the seven wonders of the world!
The views and opinions represented in this post belong solely to the author of the blog post, and are not representative of the views and policies of Paper Airplanes and its staff members.