We Came by Choice; What if it was by Force?

     Raising Awareness for World Refugee Day, June 20, 2018


    WRD No One Chooses


    In the FAWCO community, many of us 'migrated' to another country either for work, love, or adventure .... we did so by choice. Displaced persons/Refugees do not share this privileged experience - most faced life-threatening circumstances forcing them to leave their homes and many continue to endure great hardship.


    Hope Beyond Displacement Logo


    Our Target Project, Hope Beyond Displacement, seeks to build better futures through education, vocational and leadership training for refugee women and girls in Amman, Jordan.

    Let’s Show Solidarity with these Women!

    We invite all FAWCO and FAUSA members to raise awareness!

    World Refugee Day, Wednesday, June 20, 2018


    If mid-week isn’t conducive, plan your activity for anytime the week before or after.

    What’s important is to participate, start a conversation, and raise awareness!

    WRD I Stand with Refugees side


    Start Organizing Your Event



    1. WALK/RUN: Most refugees don’t ‘get out’ by plane with their belongings, most have no time to prepare and flee on foot. Plan a walk and contemplate their experience. Get together afterward to share your thoughts with each other. 

    2. VOLUNTEER:  at a local refugee center, a school or community center.

    3. CONNECT: Share a meal with refugees… Here’s a NYT article about events in Berlin, Berlin Dinner Parties that Celebrate Refugees and Their Food  - look for something in your area.

    4. EXPERIENCE: While we can’t really know the experience, we can gain insights through experiential activities. Are there museums in your area, like Humanity House in The Hague or The Tropen Museum in Amsterdam, that will help organize an experience?

    5. DONATE: clothes, shoes, household items, craft supplies, toys... whatever your local refugee center may need - please be sure items are in good condition!

    6. FUNDRAISE: Use the day not only to raise awareness but also to raise funds for Hope Beyond Displacement. It will be summer - do something outdoors - Host a Swim Meet,  Tennis Round Robin, or a Golf Tournament

    7. LEARN: Organize speakers and/or a photography/art exhibition / Host a book discussion /  Host a film viewing followed by discussion (suggestions below).


    SV food 4 Mansef with group side

    FAWCO Site Visit to CRP April 2018


    Let us know what you are planning - We'll add it to the list below.


    • Identify Your Goal - Raise Awareness, Funds, or Both!

    • Pick a Date.

    • Create a timeline to lead you up to the event.

    • Build your committee - for organization, for promotion, and especially someone to coordinate volunteers, if applicable.

    • Determine if there are other events in your area you can join; are there other organizations with whom to collaborate.

    • Involve your Youth!

    • Check if you need a permit (is there a cost?) depending on event, i.e. a walk or a run.

    • Establish your message and how you will identify yourselves…

      • as members of your club and/or FAWCO?

      • promoting refugee rights or other?

      • t-shirts, sashes, signs, pins, etc.

    • Promote your event as soon as you have the date and concept:

      • Send “save the date” announcements  

      • Provide event details 3-4 weeks prior to the event

      • Communication methods - emails, Facebook posts, newsletter, flyers, announcements at meetings, individual contacts, whatever works best for your club.

    • Schedule a meeting for all participants. Solicit their ideas, as the more involved people are, the more they are invested in the outcome.


    We want to generate a global dialogue between FAWCO/FAUSA members.

    • Post in the FAWCO Facebook group as you prepare, plan and hold your activity.

    • Share your success using this short submission form - We want to celebrate it!

    • Write articles for your club newsletter, for your FAWCO reps to share, for the FAWCO newsletters and website.

    • Count your steps/distance if you do a walk or run and share that number along with the number of participants with Maggie Palu () from Clubs in Motion!



    The masterminds behind this FAWCO-wide initiative are Lauren Mescon and Julie Lehr from AWC Amsterdam.
    You can contact them with questions or to schedule a brainstorming session: Lauren – and Julie  –



    • AWC Amsterdam has created a team and will join the Nacht Van De Vluchteling, the Night of the Refugee. It is a walk organized by the Netherlands Refugee Foundation and is held throughout the Netherlands. On Saturday, June 16, 2018, at midnight sharp, thousands of people will start their 40 kilometer walk (additional shorter walks will be held earlier in the evening).

    • Last year, the President of AWC Amsterdam and FAWCO 3rd VP, Martha Canning walked 160 kilometers to raise funds for the FAWCO Target Project Hope Beyond Displacement and to raise awareness of the plight of refugees. Click to read her interview.

    Book Suggestions:


    Film Suggestions:




    Target Program for Education 2016-2019 FAWCO-wide Awareness Raising Campaign



    Updated: June 17, 2019 



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