World Refugee Day was celebrated on June 20th 2013 at the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum! Following is the full text of ECDC African Community Center Managing Director Redda Mehari’s speech on the Occasion.
”Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.” Mathew 2:13
Most probably, Jesus was the first “recorded’ refugee.
June 20, 2013
Honored Guests, Dear Refugees,
Today, we are gathered here to celebrate World Refugee Day. The purpose of World Refugee Day is to bring the plight of refugees, asylees, internally displaced people and the stateless to the world. Even though it is known as a day to “celebrate”, it kind of brings to mind that there is really nothing to “celebrate” a day where a cruel world disperses all these human beings all over the world fleeing persecution, torture, abuse, and degradation. The number of refugees, asylees and IDP’s is 45.2 million people. Of these 80% are women and children. At this moment, 1 person flees his country every 4.1 seconds.
WRD is a day designated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as a day to:
- make the rest of the world aware of the challenges refugees face
- solicit support for the cause of refugees
- recruit everyone to be a spokesperson for refugees
- be an advocate to eradicate the root cause that produces refugees
- a system of oppression where the most basic human rights of individuals is not respected
- a system where the rule of law is non-existent, but rather a rule of a dictatorial system of government is set up by egomaniac individuals where human beings, irrespective of their age, gender, nationality, citizenship, religious beliefs, political opinion are systematically uprooted from their villages and residence, persecuted, tortured, disappeared, summarily and cruelly executed
- it is a day to speak out against such systems, the same way we spoke against apartheid and brought a bright day to the people of South Africa.
We can still do it. This is the purpose we organize this get-together.
There is another side of the coin to this day. We also have a reason to celebrate World Refugee Day. We celebrate the refugees for
- Their steadfastness, their courage in the face of what looks like an insurmountable obstacle
- In their belief on the human race and pick up and go from their birth place to a part of the world they have never heard of before a few weeks, months.
- Their belief that this world is not a dark place that their tormentors want them to believe
- Their strength in surviving and making something of themselves
- For giving us The Pilgrims, Einstein, Madeline Albright, the founders of Intel, yahoo Google and millions like them all over the world that makes our world a wonderful world that it is.
Indeed, it is a day to celebrate.
Welcome to the African Community Center of Las Vegas!
We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works to resettle refugee families in the Las Vegas valley. Don’t let the name fool you, we resettle refugees from all around the world! Since 2003, we have been steadily growing in order to serve the increasing number of refugees who come to our community every year.
Our Mission is: to assist our refugee clients in building happy, healthy, productive lives in the Las Vegas community!
Our Goals are:
- to provide professional and compassionate case management for our refugee clients
- to assist our refugee clients with employment services that help them build sustainable lives
- to educate our community in Southern Nevada about refugee, cultural and ethnic issues
If you would like to know more about us, our refugee clients, or if you would like to assist us with volunteer service, in-kind donations, or cash assistance, please feel free to browse this site or contact us at:
ECDC African Community Center
4310 South Cameron St., Suite 11
Las Vegas, NV 89103
phone: (702) 836-3324
fax: (702) 836-3338
We need volunteers who are willing to do apartment set up for newly arriving clients on 1st, 2nd and 3rd July, 2013! Please contact us right away at 702-836-3324! Are you willing to volunteer with our programs? Click here to sign up!