Buffalo Celebrates World Refugee Day 2014

Buffalo Celebrates World Refugee Day 2014

Buffalo Celebrates World Refugee Day 2014

wrd_logoFifth Annual Ethnic, Food, Dance, Sport, & Music Festival, June 21 – 22

BIREC & YWCA of WNY partner for West Side event

2013-06-23_world_refugee_day_lgBUFFALO, NY: Buffalo Immigrant and Refugee Empowerment Coalition (BIREC) in collaboration with YWCA of WNY (YWCA) are proud to host the Fifth Annual World Refugee Day Celebration, June 21 – 22, 2014. On Saturday, June 21, a soccer tournament and family cultural activities will be held at Lasalle Park , and the award ceremony will follow on Sunday, June 22 at the YWCA Building (1005 Grant Street). These events are free and open to the public.

The festivities kick-off at 9am Saturday, June 21, with an International Soccer Tournament held at Lasalle Park. Teams will start play at 9am and continue competing all-day for a spot in the finals, scheduled to begin at 5:30pm and end (roughly) at 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, Sudan, Ruanda, Ethiopia, Bhutan, and other countries, as well as America. From 10am – 5pm there will also be family and kids’ activities from different cultures. Come join the free fun!

The festivities continue on Sunday, June 22 from 3 – 7pm when YWCA of WNY hosts the Ethnic Festival and Award Ceremony (1005 Grant Street, Buffalo, NY). Festival-goers enjoy free, live entertainment and a potluck 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.

Saturday, June 21st, 2014
9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Lasalle Park Soccer Fields
(Porter Ave. & AmVets Dr.)
Sunday, June 22nd, 2014
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
YWCA of WNY, 1005 Grant Street
(between Amherst St. & Military Rd.)





World Refugee Day honors the courage, strength, and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under the threat of persecution, conflict and violence. This locally organized event strives to celebrate the refugees living in WNY and the diversity of cultures, experiences and assets they bring to our community.

“World Refugee Day is an opportunity to immigrants and refugees to embrace the challenge of unity after we experienced displacement and wars, and to celebrate our success of accomplishing a new life. We come together to play soccer (The Universal Language) and share our great food, cultures, and experiences, to show the courage and diversity of our refugee community, and to remind us of the world’s millions of refugees who are still suffering” said Ali Kadhum, President of BIREC.

“This event was a great success last year, and we are so excited to be co-hosting again. It is a fulfilling experience to bring so many different cultures and people together. We anticipate, most, the great camaraderie and spirit that the teams and fans bring to the event!” said Deborah Lynn Williams, CEO of YWCA.

“I love bringing my children to this event. My children had so much fun last year! Furthermore, it exposed them to the diversity that is here in Buffalo in a positive atmosphere,” said Gwen Howard, YWCA Board President.

These events are free and open to the public. Please join your voices 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 birecsoccerx@gmail.com.

Additional Sponsors of this year’s tournament include: UB School of Social Work, Lake Shore Behavioral Health Inc., Daemen College, Jewish Family Services of Buffalo & Erie County, Tops Friendly Markets, Iraqi American Society, and New York State Department of Transportation.

Generous support also provided by: Councilman David A. Rivera (Niagara District Common Council), Councilman Michael J. LoCurto (Delaware District Common Council), and Councilman Joseph Golombek, Jr. (North District Common Council).

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

YWCA of Western New York, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Organization that has been in existence for 143 years. The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The YWCA offers housing for seniors and transitional housing for homeless women and children and victims of domestic violence. Day care, UPK, and before and after school programming are offered for infants thru school age. Education and job training for teens are also available. Please visit our website, www.ywca-wny.org, or find us on Facebook.