June 28, 2024 // Diocese

Catholic Charities Celebrates World Refugee Day

Around the globe, the world honors refugees on June 20 each year. As the largest resettlement agency in northern Indiana, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend (CCFWSB) helped plan two celebratory events to mark the occasion.

Hosted at the Allen County Public Library, the event in Fort Wayne began with an international lunch and former refugee vendors selling homemade goods. Dan Florin, CEO of Catholic Charities, offered opening remarks to welcome approximately 150 guests that included a mix of clients and the public.

Balinda Hollaway, left, and Payman Oryakhail help serve dinner at a World Refugee Day event at the St. Joseph County Public Library in South Bend on Thursday, June 20.

“Today we celebrate the perseverance, the determination, and the resiliency of everyone in this room and our neighbors from other countries who have come to Fort Wayne,” Florin said. “You were forced to leave your home country and come to a foreign place called America. I cannot imagine what you have been through and the challenges you have overcome. Some of those challenges you are continuing to overcome, but Catholic Charities is here to help you,” he added.

After lunch, guests were treated to a variety of cultural performances, including Ukrainian music, traditional Afghan dances, and the Mon Water Festival Dance.

In South Bend, Catholic Charities teamed up with United Religious Community of St. Joseph County, La Casa de Amistad, and Neighbors to Neighbors to host World Refugee Day at the St. Joseph County Public Library. After an international dinner, guests had the opportunity to view the Blurred Lives Art Exhibit, which features migrant stories. The event also included a former refugee guest panel and a viewing of the movie, “The Staging Post.”

Photos provided by Catholic Charities
On Thursday, June 20, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend hosted a celebration of World Refugee Day at the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne. Approximately 150 guests enjoyed lunch and cultural performances by refugees and their families.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has been resettling refugees since 1975 and is the only federal resettlement agency in northern Indiana. Services for refugees include prearrival and arrival services, assistance with housing and utilities, applying for public assistance, transportation to and interpretation for medical appointments, job readiness, acculturation skills, job search and placement, youth and older refugee services, financial literacy, ESL classes, school enrollment for children, and other educational services as needed.

For additional information on who is a refugee and the United Nation Human Rights Council process of becoming a refugee, visit ccfwsb.org/refugee-101.

Nicole Kurut is Marketing Manager for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

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