How We Spent World Refugee Day at Our Resource Center

In 2017, an unprecedented 68.5 million people were forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. Among them are 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are children below 18. World Refugee Day is dedicated to focusing attention on the situation of refugees and the obstacles they face on their journeys. Every year on June 20, the world comes together to honor the resilience of those who have been forced to flee their homeland – recognizing their courage to leave the only life they knew behind, their strength to overcome difficult circumstances, and their ability to start over in a new country.

World Refugee Day at The Unmentionables Resource Center in Athens started out like any other, with people stopping by for showers and to use the laundry facilities. These are two of our most popular services, as many of the refugees in the area live in squats where access to sanitation and hygiene is either limited or non-existent. At our Resource Center, we provide a safe and uplifting community-centric space where everyone who visits can access these basic necessities.

Throughout the day, a number of fun activities took place, including a yoga class, a baking class, a children’s art workshop, henna, a gathering to watch soccer, and a ping pong tournament. The Unmentionables staff was joined by members of the RB team who assisted our volunteers and took part alongside our beneficiaries. On World Refugee Day, we also held our normal educational classes, such as a session on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence taught by one of our new Community Educators. In the evening, we invited our Community Educators, partners, and friends to join us for a night of food, music, and family. Our Global Ambassador Kimora Lee Simmons and her family joined us in our celebration of resilience, friendship, and community.

Thanks to the ongoing support of our donors and volunteers, we’ve been able to reach nearly 48,000 people. Help us reach even more by next World Refugee Day by becoming a Dignity Defender! Your recurring donation will support sustainable, long-term solutions to educate, empower, and protect refugees worldwide.

Bianca Settino