AFSV Statement Marking the United Nations World Refugee Day
June 20, 2021– On World Refugee Day, the international community celebrates the strength and courage of people forced to flee their homes in order to escape conflict or persecution. It also provides the opportunity to reflect on the challenges refugees have faced and recognize their resiliency.
Refugees flee their home countries for many reasons, but often because of persecution or violence. Over half a million participants of Hizmet movement know this very well as they are subjected to political prosecution, inhumane treatment and social isolation by the authoritarian government of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Leaving their homeland and family ties to protect their lives and freedom on a journey of unpredictable perils should not be taken lightly. We must welcome refugees into our communities with open arms. Once in our communities, refugees add to the rich texture of our society and bring new perspectives from which we all can learn and grow as people.
The theme of World Refugee Day this year is “Together we heal, learn and shine.” We see several Hizmet values reflected in this theme, especially health and well-being, education, equal opportunity, and serving fellow humans. Hizmet participants strongly believe that good health is a crucial component of a dignified life, education is the most effective tool for empowerment, and equal opportunity gives people the chance to realize their full potential.
As participants of the Hizmet movement, we strive to be staunch advocates of human dignity and help our fellow humans. We take this opportunity to recommit to serving others without prejudice or preference in order to benefit the global community.