World Refugee Day: “I am not ashamed of being a refugee”

On World Refugee Day, we honour the strength and resilience of people around the world who have been forced from their homes. Digital Content Volunteer, Elina shares her thoughts on this important day.

For more than 20 years, World Refugee Day has been celebrated internationally. This year is special for me, as I have become a refugee myself after my evacuation to Scotland over a year ago.

Having experienced many of the challenges that New Scots face while establishing their lives, I want to raise awareness about these difficulties, commemorate the strength of our community and encourage support to make our journey easier.

To become fully integrated and beneficial to a new country, we as refugees have to overcome numerous barriers. Even excluding the language barrier, which we thankfully mitigate through government and volunteer-supported language classes, many of us struggle with long-term unemployment, access to healthcare, and sadly, destitution.

Despite the help we receive from the government, local charities, and other members of our movement, there are still gaps that need to be filled to enable us to contribute and give back to our new country.

This day of celebration means that I can proudly declare that I am not ashamed of being a refugee. I am proud of myself and other refugees for the achievements we have made so far. We spread the message that anyone can rise out of any circumstances they have faced.

Unfortunately, most refugees experience the worst things that can happen to any human. By sharing our experiences, we can inspire others too.

World Refugee Day should remind everyone of how we do our best to begin a new life.

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