CEO Janet Haugh, talks about World Refugee Day 2024 and how we can all help to build a world where everyone has a place to call home.

As we observe World Refugee Day 2024, it’s a time for reflection, compassion, and action. This day, marked annually on June 20th, honours the courage, resilience and contributions of millions of refugees worldwide. It is an opportunity for us to reaffirm our commitment to supporting those who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution, or natural disasters.

At Right There, we understand all too well the plight of those who find themselves without a place to call home. While our primary focus is providing support For People, At Home and In The Community, we recognise that the challenges faced by refugees are intrinsically linked to our vision of a world where everyone has an equal chance to create a safe and supportive place to call home.


The Global Crisis of Displacement

The latest figures from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) are staggering. Over 100 million people are currently displaced worldwide, the highest numbers on record. Among them are millions of refugees who have crossed international borders in search of safety and a chance at a new life. These individuals often endure perilous journeys, profound trauma, and significant barriers to rebuilding their lives in new countries.

In Scotland, we have a proud tradition of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers. Our diverse and inclusive communities are strengthened by the presence of individuals from different cultural backgrounds who bring new perspectives and enrich our society. Yet, we must acknowledge that refugees often face immense challenges upon arrival, including language barriers, discrimination, and difficulties accessing essential services such as housing, healthcare, and employment.


Our Role in Supporting Refugees

As a charity dedicated to preventing homelessness, we see firsthand how housing insecurity can affect anyone, regardless of their background. Refugees are particularly vulnerable to homelessness due to the systemic barriers they encounter. That is why our organisation has expanded its programmes to address the needs of refugee populations, including Supported Accommodation in Glasgow with dedicated space specifically for refugee and asylum cases.

Our programmes are psychologically informed environments (PIEs) – which means we take into account the trauma people may have experienced and how this can impact their emotions, experiences and ability to trust.

On this World Refugee Day, I urge everyone to reflect on the immense challenges faced by refugees and consider how we can all contribute to making a difference. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Educate yourself and others: Learn about the causes of displacement and the experiences of refugees. Share this knowledge with your community to foster empathy and understanding.
  • Volunteer: Offer your time and skills to charities and organisations supporting refugees. Whether it’s teaching English, providing legal assistance or simply offering companionship, your involvement can have a profound impact.
  • Donate: Financial contributions to charities working with refugees can provide critical support for their programmes and services.
  • Advocate: Use your voice to advocate for policies that protect refugees and ensure they have access to the resources they need to rebuild their lives.

World Refugee Day is more than just a date on the calendar; it is a reminder of our shared humanity and the responsibility we have to support those in need. As we continue our work to end homelessness in Scotland, we stand in solidarity with refugees worldwide.

Together, let us embrace compassion, extend our hands in friendship, and build a world where everyone has a place to call home.

Be part of helping to change the lives of 2000 more people this year, by getting involved in our 2000 More pledge.

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