Right now, more people have been forced to flee their homes than ever before. From the crisis in Ukraine to climate shocks in East Africa, global instability is on the rise. Yet when refugees are welcomed into new communities, their influence on culture is immeasurable. Around the world, displaced people have, and continue to, shape policies, art, traditions, dreams and futures in ordinary—and extraordinary—ways.
See the ordinary and extraordinary ways that refugees shape the world.
Beloved baked goods, a Disney heroine and world-changing creations. See what some famous refugees have brought to the world.
Ke Huy Quan, 2023’s best supporting actor Oscar winner for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” was born in Vietnam in 1971. Seven years later, his parents decided to flee in the middle of the night to escape oppression and hardship after the Vietnam War, as almost two million other Vietnamese also risked their lives to do. Quan then lived in a refugee camp in Hong Kong until the U.S. granted his entire family political asylum. In Los Angeles, California, Quan reunited with his entire family under the Vietnamese refugee resettlement program.
Refugees shape this world for the better. Let’s welcome them to our communities. 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:
- Welcome arriving refugees. The Welcome Corps is a private sponsorship program that matches groups of Americans with refugees approved for resettlement in the U.S. Sponsors apply in groups of five or more and help refugees find housing and employment, learn English, and settle into new communities.
- Sponsor a refugee family. An exciting new program in the U.S., eligible local groups can now partner with the IRC to become co-sponsors or community sponsors. Responsibilities include securing housing, greeting families at the airport, providing food and other basic necessities, and connecting refugees to schooling, English classes and employment.