WASHINGTON DC - Cambodians and myriad other immigrant communities in the US are preparing to celebrate World Refugee Day.
Sok Sovannarath, who works for the Lutheran Refugee Service, said she will mark the June 20 holiday with her family at home, and with the rest of the world from her job.
“It’s a day we all should commemorate and remind our government about the plight of the refugees around the world and urge our government and fellow citizens to help them,” she said in an interview.
World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
As a placement coordinator at the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Sok Sovannarath recently brought 20 former refugees to meet with US lawmakers on Capitol Hill to urge them to help the entry process for refugees, as they prepare to debate new immigration laws.
She also urged her fellow Cambodian-Americans to volunteer to help new refugees, by taking them to the grocery store, helping them find work, or other acts.