Honoring Maine’s Sudanese: World Refugee Day

Today, we’re passing along a video by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), recognizing World Refugee Day, Sun., June 20. The IRC provides lifesaving aid to refugees around the world, including Sudan.

The event calls attention to the families forced to flee their homes by conflict, persecution and disaster.

Maine is home to refugees from the Darfur and Southern regions of Sudan. In honor of World Refugee Day, we’d like to highlight three Maine-based organizations that support those refugees:

  • Fur Cultural Revival is committed to broadening the public’s awareness of genocide in Darfur; serving the needs of the Darfur community of greater Portland; and preserving the Fur tribal culture.
  • Friends of Darfur is a group of people from Darfur and their supporters that seeks to share the culture, music, drumming, singing and dances of the Fur tribe with the people of Maine. The group raises funds to support projects in Darfur that provide food, medicine and shelter to people living in refugee camps.
  • ASERELA Maine is an organization of Acholi tribe members from southern Sudan, living in Portland.  The group helps to build self-reliance among Sudanese refugees and pass on traditional music, dance and language to children growing up in Maine. ASERLA built a school for Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda and is now working to build another in southern Sudan. The ASERELA Maine Youth Chorus released “Sacred Songs from a Sacred Land,” a collection of holiday songs sung in Acholi by Portland’s Sudanese community.

Action: Stand up for a refugee child

The IRC is gathering signatures to urge the Obama administration to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This agreement protects children by defining their basic human rights.

While 193 nations have signed on, only the U.S. and Somalia have not.

To add your name to the petition, visit theIRC.org/rescueachild.

Posted In: action, children, crimes/humanity, genocide, musician, refugee | Tags:
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