The nine-year-old fled war in Somalia with his mother and six siblings, and is now living at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. As if becoming a refugee wasn’t difficult enough, Siyad had to deal with being born with a cleft lip. His mother couldn’t afford surgery, and so he was bullied at school and discriminated against by adults in the camp, even some family members. He had difficulty talking and was not doing well at school.
This all changed for the better when Siyad received surgery through a referral by the Lutheran World Federation, who helps people with disabilities in the camp. CLWR is a partner in this work, with your support. Siyad is now fully recovered! He talks well and plays with other children. He is doing much better at school and wants to be a teacher when he grows up. The whole family is grateful, and they are helping LWF find others in the camp who need surgery, so that more people can receive your life-changing support.
World Refugee Day is June 20, and we’re asking you to pray, learn and give in support of refugees.
We have created some activities and resources to help you do this. Some are listed below, but you can find more at http://www.clwr.org/WRD.htm and on our social media pages (hashtag is #WRDclwr). We will be sending you weekly emails in the lead-up to World Refugee Day, to share more stories like Siyad’s and remind you of resources and events. (Emails will return to approximately one-two a month following June 20.)
Hold a Refugee Sunday
- Click here to download a worship resource, including reflections, hymn suggestions, a litany and a prayer. We suggest June 22, but any Sunday that suits your congregation better is great.
Attend a free one-hour webinar on private refugee sponsorship
- Learn about the private sponsorship program in Canada, how CLWR plays an important role as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder with the government and how Canadians can get involved. You will also hear from special guest speakers who have been impacted by the refugee sponsorship program. It will be held Thursday, June 19, at 1 p.m. EDT. Click here to sign up. The webinar will be recorded for later viewing.
Attend a World Refugee Day event
- Click here for more information on cities involved. For example, Canadian Council for Refugees is holding refugee walks in communities across the country. CLWR is involved with events in Kitchener-Waterloo and Vancouver.
Be sure to watch CLWR’s website and social media pages for stories and updates on the work you support for refugees. The hashtag is #WRDclwr. Feel free to share them or post your own stories using the hashtag!
P.S. Want to be part of The Biggest Lutheran BBQ Ever?
We are planning nation-wide BBQ picnics on or close to August 10, 2014, and we’re hoping to make this event even bigger by getting more congregations across the country involved! BBQs are already being planned in Kitchener-Waterloo, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver, but if you would like to host one in your community, please let us know and we’ll add you to the list. The Biggest Lutheran BBQ Ever is an opportunity for congregations to get together, celebrate summer, and enjoy some good food and family-friendly activities on a Sunday afternoon. If you’d like to get involved with one of the existing BBQs, or need help organizing your own, please contact Tom Brook, CLWR Community Relations Director, at email@example.com or 1.800.661.2597.