What is a refugee?
Around the world, people have been displaced, forced from their homes, or simply—fearing the worst—have fled their neighborhoods and villages ahead of waves of violence. Some people have lost the right to claim a nationality as countries and states have dissolved. Many of these people have gone to neighboring countries where they petition neighboring governments for protection and recognition as refugees.
There are many types of refugees:
- those who live without citizenship with any country, due to national changes, are stateless people;
- those who flee their homes and remain in their home country are known as internally displaced persons (IDPs);
- those hoping for protection in another country are asylum seekers; and, finally,
- those granted protection behind neighboring borders are called refugees.
Refugees are the only people of the four groups with substantial protection under international law.
How is CWR involved with refugees?
Covenant World Relief works in partnership with the Evangelical Covenant Church of Kenya (ECCK), in Kitengala, to provide a new home and a renewed sense of stability for Congolese refugees fleeing the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their primary focus in Kitengala is on education for the children of the refugees, which, in turn, provides the parents with the peace of knowing their kids are safe during the day, while they look for jobs and go to work. Click here to learn more about this project.
In Burma people of the Rohingya Muslim minority were violently uprooted from their homes in June 2012 and have been living as internally displaced persons ever since, in extremely unhealthy, volatile conditions in camps near the Bangladeshi border. CWR is working in these camps—primarily three of the unofficial ones where the Burmese government and other organizations are not involved in refugee care. They are providing the Rohingya with basic food and water, as well as shelter and medical care.
CWR is also working with Partners Relief and Development to provide mobile medical clinics in Burma to Karen people who are IDP’s. Read more about this project online here.
On World Refugee Day, we at Covenant World Relief want to express our prayers for the safety, security, and stability of all people who have been displaced by violence and disaster, as well as our heartfelt thanks for partners like the Evangelical Covenant Church of Kenya, Partners Relief and Development, and other partners who are providing amazing care and justice for all types of refugees. We believe God is caring for the most vulnerable through the work of our partner organizations and others, and we always thank everyone for their gifts and prayers in light of these needs. God bless you!