World Refugee Day | June 20

World Refugee Day commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of forcibly displaced refugees around the world. According to UNHCR, there are 68.5 million forcibly displaced people, of which 25 million are refugees. Over half of all refugees are from South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria.

World Refugee Day
Credit: UNHCR Used with permission

The following stories show the impact of displacement on refugees and the strength needed to overcome.

Hyeonseo Lee

By: Eva Gravin
North Korean Hyeonseo Lee hid in China for 10 years before guiding her family and herself to South Korea for asylum.


By: Rejina Rai

Rejina's Nepalese grandfather was forced to leave Butan with only the clothes on his back. 

MY HERO Suggested Video

"Malala Yousafzai - Helping Refugee Girls with “We Are Displaced” & Malala Fund | The Daily Show" (2019) by TrevorNoahShowUSA

Malala Yousafzai discusses her efforts to humanize refugees by sharing their stories and explains why Malala Fund stresses education.

Dr. Hawa Abdi - The Mother of Hope Village

By: Nicole

Dr. Hawa Abdi turned her family's land into a hospital to serve displaced Somalians during the civil war.

Nadia Murad

By: Shannon Luders-Manuel
Nadia Murad is a Nobel Prize-winning activist and sex slave survivor from Kojo, Iraq.
Tell us about your hero
Credit: MH

Listen & Read Along

Click on the Listen and Read Along icon in the following stories so you can hear the audio as you read.

Listen and Read Along icon

Great for ESL students and the visually impaired!

Mohamed Sidibay

By: Annie Merkley
Mohamed Sidibay speaks out to give a name and a face behind the stories of child soldiers.

Judith Ann Mayotte

By: Monica Olson
Judith Ann Mayotte is a former Catholic nun, television producer and humanitarian who wrote "Disposable People? The Plight of Refugees" in 1992.

This showcase of films includes experimental voices to take us deeper into compassion for the plight of refugees.

New Together

Produced by:Max Landwirth
For World Refugee Day, let's face the new together and stand with refugees.

No exit: Jordan’s most vulnerable refugees -

Produced by:Liz Mermin | Thomson Reuters Foundation

Jayne Fleming is the leader of the Reed Smith Refugee Protection Project, a mobile legal clinic offering legal and psychosocial support to some of Jordan’s most vulnerable refugees – mostly from Syria, Iraq, and Sudan. 


Produced by:Dir. Christian Als & Kristoffer Juel

Knowing they may never be able to return home, many refugees have decided to set out on the dangerous and perilous journey for a new life in Europe.

Noisia - Mantra

Sil van der Woerd

This expressionistic film offers the point of view of the refugees in crisis. Mantra chronicles the dangerous obstacles refugees face on their journeys to reach safer harbors.

HIAS - For the Refugee


This film was produced for World Refugee Day, to publicize and spread awareness on HIAS' mission and values for the last 130 years.

Art created by world refugees in different parts of the globe to illustrate the hopes and dreams of settling into a new life

The Global Refugee Mural

By: Joel Bergner

The Global Refugee Mural created by Joel Bergner with Action Ashe! Global Mural Project is in Maryland.

A Cross-Cultural Festival of Japanese Students and Palestinian Refugees in Syria

By: Sherry's English School in Japan and UNRWA Schools in Syria

Celebrating refugees' hopes and dreams, students paint a mural depicting a Cross-Cultural Festival.

Klimt's Adele Bloch-Bauer tapestry by refugee artists from Burundi, Ruwanda and the DRC

By: Refugee Social Services / Umcebo - South Africa

Our Dreams and Treasures

By: Okazakijosei High School in Japan and Iraqi/Palestinian Refugee Team in Jord...

External Links

USA for UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency

Our Curators


Artwork curated by MY HERO Arts Education and Gallery director Victoria Murphy. 


Short films curated by MY HERO International Film Festival director Wendy Milette


Hero Stories curated by MY HERO General Editor and Story Director Shannon Luders-Manuel. 


Audio curated by MY HERO Audio director Stu Pearlman. 

Organizer created on 6/17/2015 7:08:45 AM by Jeanne Meyers

Last edited 7/10/2020 3:22:17 PM by Xenia Shin