On June 20th of every year, we celebrate World Refugee Day.  As the daughter of a refugee, I take pride in this day to honor the courage, strength, and determination of men, women, and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict, and violence.  When I talk to my mother about her personal experiences as a refugee and coming to the states at the tender age of 14 with my aunt and uncle Domingos, there are days she is eager to share the memories she can recollect and there are other days where the discussion can be sensitive.  Its good she keeps in communication with other people she was in the refugee camps with, whom I’ve learned to address as aunts and uncles because my mother is my only family I have in the states on the maternal side.  Any relatives who survived the war or who chose to stay behind are all in Angola with a host of cousins, uncles and aunts.  I’ve always encouraged my mom to write a memoir, not even to publish domestically or globally, but as a keepsake for my sister and I.  Something we can pass down for our future generations to come.

All the month of June we celebrate all refugees and wish continued prosperity and success in your future.  Make sure you continue to educate yourself on this constant crisis.  Some basic statistics are as followed:

  • Nearly one in 100 people worldwide have been pushed out of their homes due to war or political instability.
  • The Middle East and North Africa host 39 percent of refugees. Africa hosts 29 percent, Europe and the Americas host 18 percent while Asia and the Pacific host 14 percent. TurkeyPakistanLebanonEthiopia, and Jordan rank as the top hosting countries.
  • GermanyHungary and Sweden have become the top destination countries in Europe for refugees.
  • Nine out of 10 refugees head for neighboring countries. Most do not seek asylum in industrialized countries. About 86 percent are hosted in developing countries.
  • The countries that accept the least of their fair share include the U.S.Spain and France, all standing at 10 percent.
  • The largest refugee camps in the world include Kakuma Camp in Kenya, Zaatari in Jordan and Yida in South Sudan. Each of these camps hold more than 70,000 people, which is more than the population of Boston.

Source: (2017)