On #WorldRefugeeDay (June 20), and in the weeks leading up, we hope you will join us in celebrating and honouring the lives of refugees by engaging with and sharing the following resources in your schools, churches, communities, and home. This year’s WRD resources focus on children and their families — stories that explore their lives and their refugee journeys. This theme aligns with the timing at Christie as we prepare for the welcomed addition of a Playground & Outdoor Recreational space for children and families staying at the shelter.
There are lots of great books, many with beautiful illustrations, that you can read with children. The following is a collection of books that can be used to talk to children and youth about issues related to refugee justice. Use them in the local school, Sunday school classroom, church service, community centre and home. Most of these books are children’s picture books and some are nonfiction/fiction books for youth. All are meant to offer windows into the refugee experience: being uprooted, the terror of war, being forced to find a new home, the struggle to fit in, loss, grief, and … hope. Check to see if any of these are available at your local library. As well as a list of books this resource also includes some ideas on how to use them. https://www.crcna.org/sites/default/files/books_for_children.pdf
Out of Somalia
Published on June 13, 2012
An online book about life in Daghaley, one of the world’s biggest refugee camps, as seen through the eyes of two comic book authors in partnership with Doctors without Borders. Can be viewed online or downloaded.
Sunday School Lessons
Refugee stories are all over the Bible, and the call to welcome the stranger is repeated over and over in Scripture. Using these 4 children’s books and the lesson plan suggestions that go with them, you can introduce kids to diverse refugee experiences and help them think through what it means to love our refugee neighbours. All the books/stories in the list are current, so you should be able to find them in your local library system or bookstore.
From the UNHCR Youtube Channel: “With global forced displacement at a record high of 65.3 million, the number of unaccompanied and separated children seeking refuge is also growing dramatically. Some 112,000 asylum claims by unaccompanied and separated children were lodged worldwide in 2015 – the highest number recorded since UNHCR began collecting such data in 2006.” (**Viewer discretion advised:some of the refugee experiences contain descriptions of violence.)
Ways to Respond or Take Action
Baby Baskets Campaign
62% of refugees staying at our shelter are women and 31% are children under the age of 12 years old. We see many pregnant women, new moms and newborns come through our shelter doors, and we want to give each a baby bathtub filled with supplies! You can support refugee moms and babies this Mother’s Day and World Refugee Day by donating to our Baby Baskets campaign. $100 provides one Baby Basket to a mom and newborn. Click here for more details and to donate.
Join a team!
The Ride for Refuge
Join a team to walk or ride your bicycle for refugee families staying at Christie Refugee Welcome Centre! A great way to walk (or ride) in solidarity with refugees. This is a very family friendly (bring your strollers!) event. Sign up begins June 1st, and the event takes place September 30th.
One of the best ways we can support newly arrived refugees is to offer them friendship. If you live in Toronto (or any other urban centre in Canada) you can be sure that there are refugees and newcomers in your community. Why not find ways to build a friendship with someone who is new to Canada in your school, your church, or your neighbourhood? When you take the initiative to get to know them it can help them to know that they are welcomeand that they belong here. Even a simple smile can make a difference! The amazing thing is that you will benefit too as you learn about life through the eyes of someone from another culture and with different life experiences!