Accra 25 June 2015 – On June 23, UNIC Accra through its UN4U initiative conducted an outreach program at the Ridge Church School, Accra in commemoration of the World Refugee Day.
While there interns David Godspower, Delali Adiamah and Linda Phiri facilitated the program in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR). They were led by UNIC’s Reference Assistant Ms. Evelyn Sarpong who began the programme with an outline on the objective of UN4U and the role of the United Nations.
UNIC intern, Ms. Phiri, speaking of past experiences with Refugees explained that what struck her most is the idea that many people do not realize that a crisis can happen anywhere to anyone; “It could have been us”, meaning that we all have a role to play in engaging with the crises and helping refugees or creating international and domestic peace.
The Public Information Officer of UNHCR, Ms. Patience Folley, presented the United Nations
theme for World Refugee Day this year, “Get to know a Refugee (Ordinary people living through Extraordinary Times)”. Ms. Folley shared information on the technicalities of how one becomes a refugee, statistics on refugees in Ghana and the role of the UNHCR. The time spent was informative with added student participation. Prizes were awarded to students who could answer her mini-quiz section at the end.
Interns Mr. Godspower and Ms. Adiamah addressed the refugee crises from their own perspective, with a reference to situations that lead to one becoming a refugee and ways in which many individuals have overcome their circumstances, and how those not affected can help.
The students were then taken through a practical activity by Ms.Phiri, where students were divided into groups, representing world leaders. Students were asked to discuss a fictional refugee crisis and how they would address such situations. Groups then explained why they chose their option and in their well thought out answers, showed their intelligence and critical thinking skills.
The main event to mark World Refugee Day 2015 in the country was held earlier at the Egyeikrom Refugee Camp in the Central Region. It involved cultural performances by refugees, mostly Ivorians, and exhibition of handiworks of refugees and speeches and statements. The event was attended by some Heads of Agencies, the Deputy Minister of Interior and the UN Resident Coordinator.