Come celebrate Refugees!
Refugee Simulation Experience
Local Food Trucks!
Sioux Falls….Every year on June 20th, a day designated as World Refugee Day by the United Nations, the world honors the courage, resilience, perseverance and strength of millions of human beings who were forced to leave their homelands due to war and violence, political association, religious affiliation, gender orientation, and political oppression. Did you know that since 2002, nearly 6,000 refugees from 32 countries have resettled in S.D.? Did you know that 145 languages and dialects are spoken here?
The Sioux Falls event, hosted by Lutheran Social Services at their 3oo E. 6th St. location from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm on Wednesday, June 20th, 2018, will offer participants a simulation of being a family leaving their homeland, placed in a refugee camp and then the process of being transferred to their host country. Tim Jurgens, Director of the Refugee Services at LSS asks, “Why have a simulation? We will never really know the experience of a refugee, but I am reminded of the old proverb, ‘I can’t understand another until I have walked a mile in their shoes.’ We can’t of course, offer a mile. But we can offer a few steps toward deeper appreciation of their journey.”
In addition to tasting a bit of the refugee journey, participants will be able to have a “taste” of some ethnic foods, thanks to several local food trucks that will be parked on the grounds.
Clara Hart, a refugee herself, South Dakota Representative and Board Chair for the National Refugee Congress, wants everyone to come, mingle with other refugees and come to appreciate the contribution these people have made and are making to our community. “They are entrepreneurs, doctors, nurses, social workers, and teachers. This is a day to show them your support and identify in a small way with their journey to Sioux Falls, SD,” she shares.
From the beginning, refugee resettlement has been championed by faith communities and local governments. Yet today, when the world is experiencing the worst global displacement crisis in history, our country will likely resettle far fewer than the administration’s refugee admissions goal of 45,000 in FY 18. As a consequence, refugees’ families have been stranded, separated, leaving many with little hope of gaining US entry and joining their loved ones.
In light of current events, it is all the more important to come together and be in solidarity with our refugee brothers and sisters, while seeking to understand their journey and the contribution they make to our country, our state and our city! So, come, experience and celebrate!
Co-Sponsors: Lutheran Social Services of SD Center for New Americans,Pax Christi South Dakota, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls, Caminando Juntos, Sioux Falls, Presentation Sisters Aberdeen, SD, Refugee Congress
Celebration will be held at Lutheran Social Services in Sioux Falls:
300 E. 6th Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57103