June 20 is World Refugee Day

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his message for World Refugee Day 2010, said: “On World Refugee Day, let us reaffirm the importance of solidarity and burden-sharing by the international community. Refugees have been deprived of their homes, but they must not be deprived of their futures.”

The theme of this year’s observance is “Home,” and highlights the plight of the world’s 15 million refugees, more than three-quarters of them in the developing world, who have been uprooted from their homes by conflict or persecution. US Goodwill Envoy Khaled Hosseini has a higher estimate: “There are currently 43 million people around the world who have been displaced by war, persecution, or violence.  This figure includes the 740,000 people who have been forced to flee Libya since February. 43 million is a staggering number and represents a humanitarian displacement crisis the likes of which we have not witnessed in recent history.” (http://bluekeyblog.org/blue-key/anyone-can-be-a-refugee-khaled-hosseini-on-the-blue-key)

Global PartnerLink’s four projects in Sudan have each been directly affected by displacement. The Gbaya project, for example, was begun more than 20 years ago, but had to be abandoned due to civil war. In 1994, the project was moved to the capital city and given a fresh start as a “displaced project.” The Keliko, Laro and Tennet projects have also had their share of difficulties within a politically sensitive context.

Along with the literacy and Bible translation efforts, the teams have ensured time for trauma-healing workshops. These include the translation into the mother tongue of trauma-healing materials based on Scripture. One man shared: “When I began to study about trauma healing, the light came into my heart, and the Word of God entered deeply into my mind!” He went home to teach his community about what he had discovered, “so that people will learn how to forgive each other.”