World Refugee Day 2020: Celebrating the Contributions of Refugees

Giving By Elizabeth Roscoe June 17, 2020

The Western Union Foundation celebrates World Refugee Day on June 20, in gratitude for the multifaceted contributions refugees bring to communities around the globe. The Western Union Foundation brings a voice to refugees and vulnerable populations that are often silenced, marginalized or unheard. Today and every day, our commitment is to amplify the voices of refugees, speak the truth about their experiences and celebrate their contributions to both their host and home communities.

With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to Claudine. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Claudine is living in Boulder, Colorado, awaiting her return to her home country where she will continue to build her nonprofit, ‘Nguva Ya Africa’ which translates to ‘Power of Africa.’ Her personal experience of being internally displaced and marginalized led her to want to help people like her and to offer courage and hope to other young refugees around the world.

Claudine is a remarkable young woman – she is a Watson Institute alumnus, a scholar, speaks six languages, writes poetry, loves to dance, is an avid gardener, a founder and a survivor. Her vision is to build peace in her home country by empowering women and girls to be the best version of themselves. This movement of brave young people is committed to making their country a better place for generations to come. Claudine is an invaluable asset to her community, both at home and abroad; we are grateful for the work she is doing and her willingness to share her story with us, and you.

Obviously, World Refugee Day 2020 comes at a profound moment in history. Against the backdrop of a global pandemic as well as worldwide unrest over racial injustice in the U.S. and elsewhere, it is fitting that we take this time to recognize, be heard and participate in the global economy that confronts all marginalized communities. Like others, the Western Union Foundation is committed to listening and responding as we work to fulfill our commitment to amplify the voices of marginalized people everywhere.

Currently the Western Union Foundation supports 21 programs reaching more than 300,000 refugees in 17 countries, and has made a three-year commitment to invest a total of $15M primarily focused on expanding opportunities for refugee youth to gain access to the global economy through education and job skills training.