Moline, Illinois - Wednesday, June 20th is World Refugee Day, a day to call attention to the plight of nearly 69 million people who have fled their homes to escape war and violent persecution. Half of them are children.
They leave behind everything they know and risk their lives to resettle in safer areas. Many of them don't make it alive -- in fact, 34, 361 have died trying to make it to Europe alone in the last two decades.
But for those that do make it, starting a new life in a different country is very tough--especially when they are children, without language skill, knowledge of the laws, or anyone they know that can help them.
Fortunately, a local organization called World Relief in Moline wants to help the refugees resettling in the Quad Cities this year to feel welcome.
But World Relief also wants the Quad City community to get involved in the effort. They're holding an open house Wednesday morning from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at their office at 1852 16th St. in Moline.
The director of World Relief says World Refugee Day offers an opportunity to celebrate the 53 refugees who are here in the Quad Cities community. They come from Myanmar, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
"We want to make sure that people who are here feel integrated." said director Amy Rowell. "It's a time of remembering, it's a time of celebrating, and it's a time of thinking about those who are still waiting."
The organization offers initial case management, immigration legal services, employment services and life skills classes (and more).
The open house will be held at their offices from 8:30 until 10:30 a.m. on June 20.
Their office is located at 1852 16th St, Moline, IL 61265.