Sister Aine Hughes HC, Caritas Internationalis Southern African Coordinator, addresses participants at the World Refugee Day celebration.
"Real People, Real Needs" –was the theme of world refugee day 2009. On Saturday, 20th June 2009, the tripartite partnership between the Damietta Peace intiative (DPI), Caritas International (CI) and the Coordinating Body of Refugees Communites (CBRC) celebrated World Refugee Day in Johannesburg. Present were more than 200 refugees who represented 11 African countries.
During the course of this day, the DPI/Caritas partnership programme called “Building communities of peace, reconciliation, and care” was launched. The fundamental reason for the celebration was to involve refugees in Johannesburg in shaping their own future. This was done by reflecting on different forms of violences throughout Africa, the sharing of journeys to becoming refugees, and the taking of a small and measurable concrete action.
Through the programme, the DPI/Caritas partnership hopes to work towards the integration of refugee nationals into South African communities. According to DPI Fieldworker Martin Mande, “People can help to realise this... by making room for other(s) who are to come, with the world economic crisis threatening to slash aid budgets and amid enormous global uncertainty, ‘we need to ensure refugees are not forgotten’.”
Following World Refugee Day, the Damietta Peace Initiative asks you to remember the millions of forcibly dispersed people whose daily lives are a struggle, and to be proactive in assisting these brothers and sisters.
(based on a report by Martin Mande, DPI South Africa Fieldworker for Pretoria tag heuer replica )