People who face a refugee journey do not choose this path, but are rather forced to due to human rights violations, political agendas, sexual identities and more recently, climate change. Over 80 million people, which is 1% of the world's population feel unsafe in their communities, countries, homes and have been forced to leave their surroundings. This includes families, individuals, minors, and those who identify as LGBTIQ+.
Our theme for World Refugee Day 2023
This year, HOST’s theme for World Refugee Day is “Finding Freedom”. At HOST International Aotearoa, our founding purpose is to empower and enable resettled communities to find peace and freedom. We do what we do through grants, donations, volunteering, and creating sustainable partnerships that support the outcome of freedom. This includes providing opportunities for skills training, language support, practical care, material assistance, and advocacy.
We must not forget that being “safe” is a basic human right. To truly find freedom, we need human connections, hope, and personal dignity to establish a new home and thrive in a new place.
World Refugee Day is a day that is celebrated annually on June 20th to honour the courage, strength, and resilience of refugees around the world. HOST International’s theme for this year's World Refugee Day of Finding Freedom highlights the importance of ensuring that refugees have the freedom to live their lives with dignity, safety, and security.
At the heart of our values are integrity, compassion, respect, innovation, and diversity. These values are essential in creating a world where refugees can thrive and achieve their full potential. We must uphold these values to ensure that refugees are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
HOST International Aotearoa mahi in the space
HOST International Aotearoa are working in partnership with Immigration New Zealand to explore the Community Sponsorship pathway for individuals and whānau offshore. This programme enables New Zealand-based community organisations to sponsor refugees for resettlement. We must work together to create a world where refugees are welcomed, protected, and empowered. This means providing them with access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. It means ensuring that they have a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. And it means treating them with the compassion and respect they deserve.
World Refugee Day is a reminder of the challenges faced by refugees around the world. It is also an opportunity to celebrate their courage, strength, and resilience. As we celebrate this day, let us remember our values of integrity, compassion, respect, innovation, and diversity. And let us work together to create a world where refugees can live their lives with freedom and dignity.
Upholding LGBTIQ+ rights and advocating for systematic change
One group that deserves special mention on World Refugee Day are LGBTIQ+ communities. LGBTIQ+ refugees face unique challenges and are often subject to discrimination and violence. It is crucial that we create safe spaces for LGBTIQ+ refugees and provide them with the support they need to live their lives with freedom and dignity.
As we celebrate World Refugee Day, we must remember that refugees are not just statistics or numbers. They are human beings with hopes, dreams, and aspirations. They have the right to live their lives with freedom and dignity, just like everyone else.