On Monday, June 18 at 10 AM, Council Member David Rivera opened the 2012 World Refugee Day Celebrations on the steps of Buffalo's City Hall with a proclamation. The proclamation hopes to raise awareness around refugee issues, including: international conflicts and violence that create refugee crisis, the refugee resettlement process, and the challenges and opportunities faced by refugees after resettling in Western New York.
The festivities will kick off at 9am Saturday, June 23 with an International Soccer Tournament held at Lasalle Park. Teams will compete for their spots in the finals scheduled to begin at 5:30pm and last until 7pm. This tournament features teams from all over the world whose members have resettled here in Buffalo. This year highlights teams from Vietnam, Congo, Laos, Somalia, Liberia, Iraq, Burma, Bhutan, Sudan, and Latin America. We are excited to have seen this tournament grow in participation and attendance over the past three years.
"We see this as an opportunity to build a cultural bridge between Buffalo residents and our newest community members," said Ali Kadhum, President of Buffalo Immigrant and Refugee Empowerment Coalition, (BIREC). The talent these players showcase on the field is amazing to say the least. Mark your calendars and pack your picnics as this family-friendly event is a definite do not miss!
The celebrations continue on Sunday, June 24 from 3:00 until 7:00 PM with an Ethnic Festival & Award Ceremony held at YWCA of WNY, located at 1005 Grant Street, Buffalo, NY. Festival-goers enjoy free live entertainment and a taste of dishes from around the world. Entertainers from our refugee communities donate their time and talents to make this event a success. All food is donated from the fabulous cooks representing our diverse refugee communities. This event provides our community an opportunity to have fun and share their cultural heritage while engaging Buffalonians in both local and global humanitarian issues.
"YWCA of WNY has a long history in Buffalo of working with the immigrant community and is proud to be a part of this event," said Deborah Lynn Williams, CEO of YWCA of WNY. This year organizers hope to create even greater excitement around World Refugee Days to increase community awareness and promote attendance.
BIREC and the YWCA of WNY gratefully recognize our sponsors UNYTS, Kevin O'Connell of O'Connell's American Bistro, New Era Cap, Dr. John L Deberry and Council Member David A. Rivera.
We wish to give special thanks to Delaware Soccer Club and Western New York Resettlement Agency Coalition.
These events are free and open to the public. Please join your voice in honoring refugees locally and internationally. If you are interested in donating your time, talents or financial support to help this event grow please contact BIREC at email@example.com.
The Buffalo Immigrant Refugee Empowerment Coalition (BIREC) is a grassroots organization that strives to unite, educate and empower new comers. BIREC in partnership with Western New York Resettlement Agency Coalition (WNYRAC) provides monthly speakers who focus on education, housing, health, immigration, employment, and community safety. It is BIREC's vision to become a moving force in rebuilding communities through the passion and dedication of Buffalo's refugee communities. www.birecforall.webnode.com
The YWCA of Western New York, Inc. is a non-profit agency that has been in existence for 142
years. We continue to serve the public of Western New York with our variety of programs including early childhood and at-risk youth education, child care, domestic violence housing and counseling, and senior housing. Please visit our website to see all that we offer. www.ywca-wny.org
Mary Jo Marvin: 716.445.4414
Deborah Lynn Williams: 716.725.3272
YWCA of Western New York
1005 Grant Street
Buffalo, NY 14207