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, as of May 2023, 117.2 million people have been forced to leave their homes due to conflict, violence, human rights violations, and persecution. Of these, half are children.

World Refugee Day
Credit: UNHCR Used with permission

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

5400 Children

Morgen Arguelles
A strong statement about child separation at the U.S. / Mexico border and its impact on knowledgeable youth that are watching its government's policies in action.

New Together

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

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.


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.

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.

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. 

The Refugee Protection Project

Produced by:Plan Rwanda / Directed by Ramon Sanchez Orense
Contributing to the well-being of nearly 75,000 refugees


Produced by:Unicef Television
Families who are innocent victims of the civil war in Syria seek refuge in an alien country.

An Ordinary Day At Zaatari Refugee Camp

Produced by:Produced by: WFP / Directed by: WFP
An Ordinary Day At Zaatari Refugee Camp

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

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.

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...

Teachers: Visit the free MY HERO Lesson Plan for World Refugee Day. Includes discussion guide and learning outcomes.

Stories from the Christian Science Monitor

As Israel takes in Ukrainian Jews, some ask: Should it do more?
Credit: Dina Kraft
Refugee Children
Credit: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
Sunflowers and poppies
Credit: Flickr

Confronting war, young Ukrainians find new purpose

By: Scott Peterson CSM Staff writer @peterson__scott

How to help Ukraine? A sampling of charitable efforts.

By: David Clark Scott, Audience Engagement Editor @davidclarkscott
Christian Science Monitor recommendations for how to help in Ukraine.

'We want to keep Ukraine free.’ Why women rise in Ukraine army

By: Martin Kuz CSM Correspondent • Dominique Soguel Special correspondent E
Gender roles have been evolving fast in the Ukrainian army – even as stereotypes persist.

Ukraine’s example for other bullied democracies

By: the Monitor's Editorial Board
The civic unity of Ukrainians may inspire countries like Taiwan, South Korea, and Iraq in resisting dictators nearby.

Why a region that voted against Zelenskyy now embraces him

By: Martin Kuz Special correspondent @MartinKuz
Today Zelenskyy is the moral conscience of a nation, whose daily speeches inspire his people.

Ukrainian refugees push westward, feeling both relief and sorrow

By: Martin Kuz CSM Correspondent @MartinKuz
In Lviv, the last major city before the Polish border, a crush of Ukrainian refugees is relieved to be safe but anguished about all they’ve left behind as they rush toward the unknown

The help-a-refugee way to save Ukraine

By: CSM Editorial Board
Generosity toward the war’s refugees, especially nonUkrainians, helps counter Russia’s excuse for the invasion.

Ukraine refugees met with outpouring of compassion

By: Stephen McGrath Associated Press

Finding the heart of a people’s resistance

By: Clayton Collins Director of Editorial Innovation @ClayCollinsCSM
Ukraine Global compassion
Credit: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

Supporting Relief Efforts for Ukraine

By: Abigail Richardson
Learn more and how to help...

Our Curators


Hero Stories curated by MY HERO General Editors Deborah Neff and Abigail Richardson. 


Audio curated by MY HERO Audio director Stu Pearlman. 


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

External Links

USA for UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency

Leonid Nevidomiy

By: Abigail Richardson
In September 2022, Leonid Nevidomiy a teacher from Yelanetskyi the Mykolavyiv region, Ukraine encouraged students to submit 10 pieces of work to the MY HERO Project.

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

Last edited 4/19/2024 12:44:16 PM by Abigail Richardson