7 Ways You Can Support Refugee Communities

World Refugee Day is a time to focus global attention on the rights, needs, and dreams of millions of refugees worldwide and to take meaningful action to support them. This year, World Refugee Day is dedicated to showing solidarity with refugees and advocating for a world where they are welcomed. 

We believe this is a great opportunity to reflect on the role allies can play in making refugee rights a reality and supporting refugee communities. 

Whether you are a long-time advocate or just starting to get involved, there are many ways to make a difference. Here are seven action points to help you become an effective ally for refugees.

  1. Listen to the Voices of Refugee Activists

Gain a deeper understanding of refugee experiences by engaging with their stories through books, podcasts, and events. These narratives provide invaluable insights into their struggles, dreams, and perspectives, helping to foster empathy and awareness. This is also an excellent opportunity to educate yourself about these barriers, the right use of your privilege, and the actions needed to dismantle bias and disparity.  

  1. Disrupt Xenophobia and Anti-Refugee Bias

Challenge xenophobic and anti-refugee sentiments whenever you encounter them. Educate others about the contributions and rights of refugees, and promote a more inclusive and accepting society. Speaking up to defend your peers is very powerful!

  1. Group Up!

Join local groups that support and work with refugees and migrants and make sure to amplify their work. These organizations often need volunteers and supporters to help with advocacy, services, and community integration efforts. Being part of a collective effort amplifies your impact.

  1. Act Local

Identify and address barriers that refugees and migrants face in your local community.  Listen to their experiences and let yourself be guided on how to take further action. Whether it’s access to housing, education, or employment, local action can create significant positive changes in the lives of refugees around you. Volunteer with your nearest refugee NGO. These organizations often need help with various tasks. Your involvement can make refugees feel welcomed and supported in their new community.

  1. Use Your Vote

Hold your local representatives accountable for their policies and actions regarding refugee rights and protection Use your vote to support candidates who prioritize human rights and inclusive policies. Advocacy at the political level is crucial for systemic change. 

  1. Support NGOs Led by Refugees

Financially support and promote NGOs that are led by refugees. These organizations have a deeper understanding of the needs and challenges faced by their communities and can provide more effective and culturally sensitive support.

  1. Center the Voices of Refugees

Ensure that refugees are at the forefront of events and discussions about them. Their firsthand experiences and perspectives are crucial for informing policies and initiatives that affect their lives. Advocate for their inclusion in all relevant platforms.

Being an effective ally for refugees requires ongoing commitment and action. It requires daily efforts to unlearn privilege and show up for marginalized communities with compassion and genuine curiosity to benefit them. This World Refugee Day we invite you to join us and take these steps to stand in solidarity with refugees and help create a brighter future for all.