Who are Refugees?
The 1951 Refugee Convention establishing the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spells out that a refugee is someone who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.” It is the United Nations (UNHCR) that determines refugee status.
Refugees often flee their home countries because of conflict, ethnic cleansing, regime change, forced displacement, threats to themselves and their families, and other persecution. When they cross the border into a second country, they may integrate into an urban area, or live in camps—sometimes for years, even decades, before a durable solution is found for them. (http://aau-slc.org/who-we-serve/refugee-101).
Refugees in Utah
Since 1985, the greater Salt Lake area has become home to more than 50,000 refugees. As refugees join our community, they live and nurture their families and apply themselves in an honest day’s work.
Each year the federal government resettles between 1,000 and 1,200 new refugees here in Utah from countries such as:
The former Soviet Union
Many refugees arrive directly from refugee camps where there are no modern conveniences and where their families may have lived for many years. Some arrive from “westernized” societies where they have held respected positions in their communities. The lives they left behind are varied, and they all have unique needs when they arrive. Utahans can help refugees develop a sense of belonging and aid integration. (Utah Refugee Center, http://utahrefugee.org/about.html).
To learn about refugees globally visit http://www.unhcr.org/How You CanHelp ENA and Get Involved
Tito Momen worked for ENA in Ghana in the Buduburum refugee camp https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buduburam. Tito is also a refugee himself from Africa. Now he is utilizing his vast experience and knowledge to help many of the African refugees listed above now living in the greater SLC area. You can help us today by making a Donation. ENA can also use your dedicated efforts to get involved by doing the following:
First, we need a few key volunteers to assist Tito with refugees. Specifically, Arabic speakers are needed to help in the Muslim refugee community. Help teach English (ESL), provide small business training, transportation to appointments, raise awareness of issues affecting refugees/develop community relations, and organize fundraisers for refugees.
Second, ENA is working to end modern slavery and can use a few key volunteers to help us raise awareness, organize fundraisers, support/create campaigns, and help us prevent trafficking of refugees and others living in Utah and Africa.
Third, we need sewing kits for women in Ethiopia.
Fourth, we need new and gently used clothing for children under 5 who live in amputee camps, and visit our health clinic in Sierra Leone.
Fifth, you can help us today by liking ENA on Facebook, Instagram, and follow us on Twitter.