World Refugee Day to be celebrated in Tampa Bay area this weekend listen06/18/10 SeÃ¡n Kinane
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This weekend is World Refugee Day. As the name implies, it's a day to recognize people who seek refuge when theyâ€™ve been forced to leave their homes because of violence or persecution. There will be events in Tampa Bay tomorrow to celebrate World Refugee Day.
Janet Blair is the regionâ€™s community liaison for Refugee Services with the Department of Children and Families.
â€œItâ€™s a great opportunity to meet some of our new neighbors.â€
Here's a list of events
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 11, 2010
Contact: Erin Gillespie (239) 243-4299 Janet Blair (813) 545-1716
DCF Celebrates World Refugee Day in Hillsborough, Pinellas Naturalization ceremonies, film event, city proclamation mark special day
SUNCOAST REGION â€“ Many local refugees will be calling America their true home next week as the Tampa Bay Refugee Task Force celebrates World Refugee Day with naturalization ceremonies and other activities.
World Refugee Day is internationally sponsored each year by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to celebrate and recognize the courage and experiences of the worldâ€™s refugees. This year the local theme is â€œRefugees of Today, Citizens of Tomorrow.â€ The international theme is â€œHome.â€
â€œThe international theme of this yearâ€™s World Refugee Day, â€˜Home,â€™ reminds us both of what refugees have lost â€“ their home countries and the homes they were forced to flee â€“ as well as what they have found in Florida â€“ a new home country and a new place to call home,â€ said Hiram A. Ruiz, DCF Director of Refugee Services. â€œThis World Refugee Day, as we celebrate with our refugee neighbors in their new home, we must also remember the millions of refugees worldwide who have lost their homes but remain stuck in refugee camps, with little hope for any new home.â€
The Department of Children and Families Refugee Services program is funded by the federal government to coordinate and oversee many of the services provided to refugees in the state of Florida. More than 25,000 refugees are assisted each year.
In the past five years, more than 17,000 refugees have been resettled in this region. The majority are Cubans and Haitians, but this area has also received people in need from Iraq, Vietnam, Burma, Colombia and many other countries.
The Tampa Bay Refugee Task Force is a coalition of the dozens of local agencies that help refugees settle, integrate and prosper in this community. Please join us at the events below.
What: Free film screening of â€œNew Year Baby,â€ a 2009 award winner of Amnesty Internationalâ€™s Films That Matter, and refugee panel discussion, moderated by Hillsborough County Hispanic Liaison Tony Morejon
Where: Centro Asturiano, 1913 Nebraska Ave., Tampa
When: 5-8 p.m. (dinner 5-6 p.m., film begins at 6 p.m.), June 17
What: â€œRefugees of Today, Citizens of Tomorrowâ€ event in Hillsborough County, including naturalization ceremony, refugee speakers, awards, performances, childrenâ€™s activities, food and information booths from community providers
Where: Oak Grove United Methodist Church, 2707 West Waters Ave., Tampa
When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., June 19
What: â€œRefugees of Today, Citizens of Tomorrowâ€ event in Pinellas County, including naturalization ceremony, refugee testimonials, awards, games and prizes
Where: Largo Library, 120 Central Park Drive, Largo
When: 1-4:30 p.m., June 19