It’s World Refugee Day on June 20th and to mark it, we’re highlighting some of our stories from this year on the challenges and successes of those who had to flee their homes:
How you helped Syrian refugee arrivals one year later: in the year since we had began welcoming Syrian refugees in the fall of 2015, we helped them build new, more stable lives in Canada due to the support of our donors. With your help, we were able to work with organizations supporting refugees across the country, such as the Immigrant Community Support Centre in Montreal, to help Syrian families settle and integrate into their new community.

In makeshift settlements, children are the most vulnerable: In times of conflict, children and adolescents are amongst the most vulnerable. Children face risks such as death, injuries, gender-based violence, exploitation, interrupted education, and social exclusion. This year, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) conducted a child protection assessment in Bangladesh, to see how the needs of vulnerable children can be addressed.

Harrowing Fort McMurray experience inspires kindness: this story about two Canadians who had a harrowing experience fleeing danger during the wildfires in Alberta and how that experience made them want to do something for refugees, who also had to flee their homes. Fort McMurray residents Peter Fortna and Jay Telegdi said their evacuation from the wildfires inspired the two friends to start a fundraiser for those evacuated from their homes in Aleppo, Syria.

Fun in the snow for young Joulie and her friends: read about 12-year-old Joulie who arrived in Quebec last winter with her family and thousands of other Syrian refugees. In temperatures of -20°C, Joulie and 69 other young newcomers to Canada experienced their first winter camp with the Scouts in Pierrefonds. As a newly minted Scout, she sees the boys and girls she grew up with in Syria every week. See how the Red Cross works to integrate newcomers into their new communities.

Restoring Family Links; inspiring hope for families: Ridwan Jamal grew up in the Oromia region of Ethiopia with his parents, a brother and his sister when political unrest changed their idyllic family life forever. After settling in Canada, Ridwan was reunited with his sister, who the family presumed dead, through the Red Cross Restoring Family Links program.

See more from on World Refugee Day and our work to protect people forced to flee their homes to safety.