Arlington, Va.- (June 20, 2023). As we observe World Refugee Day in the face of unprecedented levels of adversity, displacement, and uncertainty globally, it is essential that we shine a light on the beacon of hope and compassion that guides us as we work towards a brighter future for refugees.
That is why ECDC deems this year’s theme—Hope Away from Home—to be of profound significance. It is also why ECDC chose Hope & Resilience as the theme of its 26th Annual Conference to be held August 23-24, in Arlington, Va.
To all of our colleagues, supporters, and friends with whom we are connected by a shared commitment to addressing one of the most pressing humanitarian crises of our time—the reality that, according to UNHCR, 108.4 million people worldwide are forcibly displaced, we would like to say thank you and happy World refugee Day.
We recognize the struggles faced by millions of displaced individuals who have been forced to leave behind their homes, their communities, and their beloved homelands. In a world where borders are often seen as barriers, it is crucial that we reclaim the true essence of humanity and continue to extend our hands in support, embracing those who have sought refuge in our communities. We believe in the transformative power of hope, resilience, and unity, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that these values are upheld in every aspect of our efforts.
Let us remember that hope knows no borders, no language, and no creed. It is a force that unites us, transcending cultural boundaries and reminding us of our shared humanity.
As we celebrate World Refugee Day, we would like to take a moment to extend our gratitude for all the new partnerships that were forged, countless ideas that were exchanged, innovative solutions that were found, and the new paths that were paved. It is our desire that these new paths will lead to a future where no individual is left without a glimmer of hope.
This year’s World Refugee Day is a double celebration for us at ECDC as we are also commemorating our 40th anniversary. World Refugee Day serves as a global platform to honor the strength and resilience of refugees worldwide while raising awareness about the challenges they face. It is a powerful opportunity to demonstrate our collective commitment to standing with refugees and empowering them on their journey to a better future.
ECDC is also proud to celebrate four decades of transformative work supporting refugees in rebuilding their lives and creating a sense of belonging in their new communities. We have witnessed the transformative power of education, shelter, healthcare, and employment opportunities in empowering refugees to thrive and make significant contributions to American customs, food, and our country’s history and life.
ECDC’s President, and CEO, Tsehaye Teferra, Ph.D., extends his deepest gratitude to each one of you for joining us on this profound mission. May our actions be filled with empathy, understanding, and a resolute commitment to uplifting the lives of those who seek solace in unfamiliar lands. Together, let us continue to our journey that will redefine the meaning of home and offer a renewed sense of hope to those who need it most.