SCRANTON –The public is invited to celebrate and honor World Refugee Day!

On Saturday, June 24, 2023, everyone is invited to join local Scranton refugee communities for a time of sharing, learning, fellowship and celebration that honors global refugees. This year’s theme is ‘Hope Away from Home,’ which focuses on the power of inclusion and solutions for refugees.

The event will be held from 2-4 p.m. at Nay Aug Park in Scranton (on the Greenhouse side of Nay Aug Park). The celebration will include cultural songs and music, refreshments, games and activities for kids.

“World Refugee Day is an opportunity to recognize the resilience and courage of refugees around the world. As a community, we must promote empathy and compassion towards those who have been forced to leave their homes and seek safety in a new country,” Fikile Ryder, Director of Community for Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton said. “We acknowledge the challenges that refugees face and recognize the need for support and solidarity towards their integration and well-being. It’s crucial that we come together to ensure that refugees have access to the resources and support they need to rebuild their lives and contribute to our society.”

World Refugee Day is an annual international day, designated by the United Nations, to celebrate the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home countries to escape conflict or persecution.

“I came to the United States from a refugee camp in Uganda and am so excited about this coming World Refugee Day,” Ushu Mukelo of the Congolese Community of Scranton said. “As a refugee who lived in a refugee camp for more than 12 years, it reminds me of the sense of togetherness. Scranton has been a very hospitable city and your presence just reinforces that.”

Several community agencies are working together to put together the 2023 World Refugee Celebration, including Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton, The University of Scranton, United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Ignatian Volunteer Corps, Islamic Center of Scranton, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, Congolese Community of Scranton, Bhutanese Cultural Foundation Scranton Association, Saigon Corner Vietnamese Restaurant and Pennsylvania Department of Education – Migrant Education Program.