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International Human Rights Day – Local Refugee Organizations

  By Cesar Nuñez
  Wednesday, December 22, 2021

In observance of International Human Rights Day – December 10 – the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion would like to highlight local organizations that are helping make a positive impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable among us: refugees.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, originally created in 1950 to assist the millions of Europeans displaced by the Second World War, there are currently over 84 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, of whom approximately 35 million are children below 18 years of age.

Here are just a few Rochester organizations that are actively serving refugees with housing, education, career advancement, and much more:

Catholic Family Center

Catholic Family Center partners with people – especially the vulnerable and those facing poverty – to help them achieve their full human potential. A division of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester, CFC offers compassionate and comprehensive services to families and individuals in need across all stages of life. Learn more about the Catholic Family Center.

Mary’s Place

Mary’s Place empowers refugees of all faiths and nationalities through long-term, neighborhood-based services. By collaborating with diverse community partners and dedicated volunteers, we help families to navigate their new lives, and Rochester to embrace its human rights legacy. Learn more about Mary's Place.

Refugees Helping Refugees

Refugees Helping Refugees (RHR) is a non-profit organization that serves refugees of Western New York. RHR seeks to foster the growth, self-determination, and self-reliance of Rochester’s refugee community by making them agents of their own advancement. Learn more about Refugees Helping Refugees.

Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services

Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services collaborates to provide services and opportunities to ensure assimilation of refugees into our society by providing assistance as they strive to be self-sustaining neighbors while still maintaining their own cultural heritage. Learn more about Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services.

World Relief Western New York

World Relief Western NY works alongside refugees and other immigrants in vulnerable situations as they rebuild their lives in the United States. Rochester, NY has a long history of involvement in the resettlement of refugees under the United States Refugee Admissions Program, with over 16,000 refugees coming to WNY since 2002. Learn more about World Relief Western NY.

The world has no shortage of humanitarian emergencies, but it’s also true it need not have a shortage of heroes to help.

The sheer amount of global need can be overwhelming – but you can make a difference to the more than 742,000 Rohingya refugees that have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar since August 2017; the 665,000 newly displaced Afghans between January and September 2021 and 2.9 million that were already internally displaced by over 40 years of conflict; the more than 20 million people in Yemen in desperate need of humanitarian assistance in the world’s largest humanitarian crisis; and many other global humanitarian emergencies – by making a difference locally.

Your efforts may seem small in contrast to these overwhelming numbers – but to those you serve, it is the means by which they will once again have a place to call home.

Nuñez is a member of the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness. This story is a part of the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s December newsletter.

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