MCC Photo/Alison Ralph

Elaine Hofer and Paul Waldner are members of Green Acres Colony, near Wawanesa, Manitoba. Their Hutterite colony, along with Enes and Fata Muheljic from Wawanesa, worked with MCC Canada to sponsor a family from Syria. Hofer wrote about the day that they met Reyad Alhamoud, Najwa Hussein Al Mohamad and their two children at the Winnipeg airport.

Join communities across Ontario as we launch a month of World Refugee Day (WRD) celebrations! Plan a get-together with your sponsored family and celebrate the new lives and relationships that have blossomed.

This year, MCC is offering sponsor groups $50 towards the cost of holding your party!

WRD Celebration Ideas

Pick your date: Ideally sometime in the month of June!

Decide on a place: Your house, a favourite park.

Invite members of your sponsor group and newcomers: Consider inviting others as well -- neighbours, settlement workers, teachers, and more.

Promote: Create a facebook event, post on social media, make posters for your neighbourhood...

Food: Potluck style or provide main dish and ask invitees to bring dessert or salad, lawn chairs and an appetite (Special note, this year, Ramadan is from May 26 to June 24 so practicing Muslims will be fasting during the day from sunrise to sunset. This means that any events involving a meal will have to be done after 9pm-ish!) #sunsetfeast

Activities: Face painting, sports, "get-to-know-you" games, music, etc.

Take Pictures: We would love to see and share pictures of your event! Remember to only share pictures with the consent of those displayed. 

Tag MCC Ontario: on Instagram (mcc_ontario), Facebook (@MCCOntario) and Twitter (@MCCOntario) using #WorldRefugeeDay 

Send photos to refugee@mcco.ca to share on social media and receive your $50 grocery gift card! Please include the name of your sponsoring group and the name & address to send the gift card to. If you are showing faces, remember to get signed consent of those in the pictures. Otherwise, get creative like in this example.

Refugee Facts

  • An unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. 
  • Approximately 108,000 have been resettled. - UNHCR
  • In 1979, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) initiated discussions with the government to create the refugee sponsorship program. MCC became the first official sponsorship agreement holder with the Government. Canada was the first country in the world to introduce the private sponsorship program that allowed citizens to sponsor refugees.

History of WRD

  • World Refugee Day was officially recognized as a celebration by the United Nations in 2000, and was first celebrated on June 20, 2001.
  • The day is intended to “commemorate the strength, courage, and resilience of millions of refugees.” More than 100 countries participate in celebrating World
  • Refugee Day each year.
  • While the actual WRD is on June 20th, communities come together through the month of June in recognition and celebration of the incredible people we now call neighbours and friends.