Harrisonburg celebrates World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day celebration in Harrisonburg
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 7:27 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Monday is World Refugee Day which recognizes those who safely fled their countries.

On Saturday, Church World Services in Harrisonburg celebrated refugees who found a home in the Shenandoah Valley.

“That’s why we’re here today to celebrate their resilience, their strength, but also their contributions to the economy to the social and cultural development and diversity of our community here,” Rodrigue Makelele, Virginia community organizer for CWS said.

There was food, music, and speeches from state delegates.

“We have people of course from all over the state coming here to celebrate with us but this is a place in the Valley where we think we embrace that welcoming and attitude and really spirit of providing space for those that look like us,” Makelele said.

As the war in Ukraine continues, a community organizer for Church World Services said this day is especially important.

“There’s a lot more crisis right now in the world, a very dangerous crisis and people are still fleeing still under different, terrible situations and we think it’s important today, especially this year to raise [awareness] that we need to welcome refugees,” Makelele said.

Makelele said the best way to help is to raise your voice and say you want to welcome refugees.

“Let’s all raise our voice to say we want to welcome refugees, we want to welcome immigrants in our community, we want to live with them and them be a part of our community as much as possible,” Makelele said.

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