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Media Release 2016 – World Refugee Day Waterloo Region Returns 

“Waterloo Region Celebrates Refugees”

Waterloo Region:  People in Waterloo Region have come together to welcome and support over 1200 refugees escaping Syria demonstrating we live in a community of protection and hope.  World Refugee Day (WRD) is an opportunity to recognize the stories of the refugee experience and to celebrate together.

In 2001, the United Nations declared June 20 as World Refugee Day – a day to recognize the journey and resilience of those fleeing persecution, war and conflict. While since 2001 this day has been observed in Kitchener Waterloo, over the past four years, events, observances and celebrations have been planned by many partners throughout the month of June across Waterloo Region.

The local 2016 theme is “Waterloo Region Celebrates Refugees.” Exciting highlights include:

•4th annual WRD Art Exhibit at THE MUSEUM visit – June 1-25 featuring local artists working in various mediums

• Launch event – June 1 at THE MUSEUM with guest speaker Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian physician who authored ‘I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey’, who now calls Canada home

• Skating Party – June 4 from 12-1:30pm at Cambridge Centre Mall – come enjoy a Canadian pastime in the summer

• Reading the Refugee Experience with Tasneem Jamal, national journalist and local author of ‘Where the Air is Sweet’, a story of escaping Uganda, read along with newcomer youth sharing their stories  – June 13th at Kitchener Public Library, Central

•WRD Awards evening recognizing people who have come to our Region and those who have supported them – June 20th at Victoria Park Pavilion

•Return performance of ‘I am Rohingya’, the story of the Rohingya’s persecution and journey to our community performed by young people who have experienced this story – June 26 at UW  Theatre of the Arts

A growing listing of free community events and 2016 partners with contact information can be found at: Immigration Partnership Waterloo Region is proud to partner with many local organizations and groups, including the Community Coalition for Refugee and Immigrant Concerns (CCORIC), to support the coordination and promotion of World Refugee Day Waterloo Region 2016.

For more information:

Janet Howitt, Immigration Partnership



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