SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah is home to more than 65,000 refugees from over 20 different countries. These are people who have left their country of origin due to political conflicts, wars, ethnic cleansing, regime change, forced displacement, etc. They often fear persecution for reasons related to race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group. They all have amazing stories of rebuilding their lives in Utah and giving back to the place they now call home.
This year, June 14-19, Utah is celebrating World Refugee Week with a number of events such as a naturalization ceremony to swear in 14 new US citizens and a foodie event to feature international cuisine from different food. trucks and sellers. The aim is to celebrate the achievements and contributions of refugees, share their culture with the community, provide opportunities for interaction and friendship and raise awareness of the hardships they have experienced and the challenges they face. faced.
Tennyson George, an IT professional and tech student at the Utah Refugee Center joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on CW30 News at 7 p.m. to share her personal experiences as a refugee. He spoke about his birth in Sierra Leone and the circumstances that forced his family to flee to the United States. He shared the challenges he faced in rebuilding his life in a new country, how he overcame that, the opportunities and accomplishments he has had since arriving in Utah, what he is now doing to work, why it is important for him to help other refugees, and what Refugee Week means to him.
Naima Mohamed, Social Worker at the Utah Refugee Services Office, shared the story of her family who fled Somalia, how she overcame the challenges as a refugee, the opportunities and the accomplishments she had. since arriving in the United States, her journey to citizenship, what World Refugee Week means to her and why she decided to pursue a career as a social worker.
Asha Parekh, Director of the Utah Refugee Services Office, spoke about refugee data, why refugees are such a crucial part of our community, the purpose and timing of Global Refugee Week. refugees, and what she would like the community to think and know when it comes to refugees.
Other events scheduled for World Refugee Week are:
- Thursday, June 17 at 10 a.m .: How a career hiatus put Tennyson on a new path to success
- Thursday June 17 at 12 p.m .: Taste Bhutan from the comfort of your own kitchen
- Friday June 18 at 10 a.m .: How art connects South Sudanese refugees to their homes
- Friday June 18 at 12 p.m .: More than a job – How the passion of the Office of Refugee Services staff fuels their work
- Friday, June 18 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m .: World Refugee Taste Day at Big Cottonwood Regional Park (dinner, movie, family entertainment)
- Saturday June 19 at noon: Happy World Refugee Day 2021!
- Saturday June 19 at 2 p.m .: Becoming American: highlights of the 2021 World Refugee Day naturalization ceremony
For more information on World Refugee Week or their events, visit their website or the Utah Refugee Services Facebook page.
To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with George, Mohamed and Parekh, click on the video at the top of the article.
Watch IN FOCUS chats with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on weeknights on CW30 News at 7 p.m..