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Twin Falls, Boise celebrates World Refugee Day this weekend • Idaho Capital Sun

This weekend, World Refugee Day celebrations take place in Boise and Twin Falls.

World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees around the world on June 20 every year.

“First, it is a day to honor and celebrate the lives of refugees and our shared efforts for humanity,” Joel Ntando, coordinator of the Refugee Speakers Bureau at the Idaho Office for Refugees, said in a news release. “Second, it is a reminder that we can significantly alleviate the global refugee problem.”

The upcoming World Refugee Day events are free and open to the public. The events include food, live music, vendor stalls and performances by community members from refugee backgrounds.

Idaho celebrations include:

Magic Valley Refugee Day
Where: Twin Falls city park in downtown
When: Friday 6:00 PM

The U.S. Center for Refugees and Immigrants is organizing the Twin Falls event with community support.

World Refugee Day Boise
Where: Grove Square
When: Saturday from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm

The Boise event is in partnership with the Capital City Public Market. A citizenship ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. with former refugees becoming U.S. citizens. The Idaho Office for Refugees is organizing the event, along with the Agency for New Americans, the International Rescue Committee in Boise and the Ukrainian Welcome Center.

Around the world, 117 million people have been displaced due to persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or other disruptions, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency. This includes Palestinians in Gaza, Ukrainians experiencing war, four million displaced children in Sudan and many others around the world who have been forced to leave their homes and families, the press release said.

Idaho’s resettlement program began in 1975 as part of a national effort to house refugees from Southeast Asia following the Vietnam War. This year’s celebrations honor the refugees who have since come to Idaho.