This past year millions of people in Afghanistan and Ukraine were forced to flee their homes at a moment’s notice. Meanwhile, crises in countries like Syria, Ethiopia and Venezuela persist, resulting in a record-high 100 million people displaced globally.

These families have had to make difficult decisions when fleeing their homes. But while they can only carry so much, refugees bring countless gifts to their new communities: hopes and dreams, experiences and talents, traditions and family stories, resilience and determination. 

Now more than ever, people fleeing war and persecution need our support. This World Refugee Day, explore five ways you can show welcome to refugees and all that they bring.

2. Learn more: Take our quiz on refugee contributions

Beloved baked goods, a Disney heroine and world-changing creations. See what some famous refugees have brought to the world.

Which famous theory was created by a refugee who fled Nazi Germany?
  • The Theory of Relativity
  • Quantum Theory
  • Game Theory
  • The Pythagorean Theorem
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Physicist Albert Einstein published his theory of special relativity in 1905. In 1933, he and his wife Elsa were forced to flee Nazi Germany for safety in the U.S. Einstein’s theories revolutionized physics and transformed the way we understand space and time. Einstein was also a humanitarian, having inspired the founding of the organization that became the International Rescue Committee.

Take our full quiz to learn more about famous refugees.

5. Welcome refugees into your community

When they are welcomed, refugees shape this world for the better.

In the U.S., IRC volunteers and community sponsors play a critical role in helping these new Americans thrive. Here’s how you can get involved: 

Volunteer in a U.S. local office or remotely. Opportunities include preparing homes for refugee families, mentoring adults as they restart their careers and tutoring students. 

Sponsor a refugee family. Eligible local groups can now partner with the IRC to become community sponsors, taking on responsibilities such as securing housing, welcoming families at the airport, providing food and other basic necessities, and connecting refugees to schooling, English classes and employment. 

A family--husband holding a young girl, his wife, one other girl and two boys--stand outside their home.
An Afghan refugee himself, Chef Noori (far right) has been welcoming newly arrived refugees with meals from his restaurant in Virginia, The Mantu.
Photo: Andrew Oberstadt for the IRC