By Tem Martin – Friday June 14, 2019.
Six organizations have put resources in different areas to assist refugees in having a befitting celebration ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20, 2019, National Telegraph has been told.
Refugee Relief Initiative (RRI) in partnership with Belinda Babila Foundation, National Telegraph all from the USA, Peasant Economist Association from Germany, Assurance Care Foundation alongside Theolight Global Foundation all from Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria are making specific donations ahead of the day.
These organizations have decided that refugees in Akwa Ibom wouldn’t be left out during this year’s World Refugee Day. They say they’re celebrating courage, strength, determination, and resilience of refugees; men, women and children who fled political persecution from Cameroon’s North West and South West into Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria.
Activities would include among others; a soccer tournament, traditional dances, singing and drama. The Refugees would come from different settlements and transportation would be provided to Ekpuk, Mpat Enin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State where the celebrations would be held.
Reports say they would spend two days (19-20 June) in a single location, eat together, play together, dance together and share their stories together and be encouraged to put their trust in God, hold on to Him and not lose faith during their trying moments.
The activities would start, Wednesday June 19 with a football competition from the various Refugee settlements in Akwa Ibom viz: Uyo, Oron, Ibaka, Ibesikpo Asutan, Uruan, Ekpuk (Mpat Enin), Esit Eket and Ikot Abassi, National Telegraph has confirmed.
Organizers say refugees would compose themselves into six teams to catch fun and relieve themselves from the stress they are found in.
For the two days they would spend together, breakfast, lunch and dinner would be served to them, a source said, adding that raw food would be offered them at the end of the event to take back home for their families.
The first day of the program would feature qualification soccer matches from the different teams, traditional dances, singing and drama alongside spiritual encouragement, said one of the organizations.
To curb the adverse effects of promiscuity that comes in due to the hard times some of the Refugees face, reproductive health education/family planning and the distribution of contraceptives as family planning methods constitute key parts of the celebrations.
Free consultations for all sick refugees, a session for entrepreneurship where they would be taught on how to start their own business with little or no money are top on agenda, the event sheet has shown.
It would be crowned by a grand finals of the two football teams that would qualify the day before from the football competition, RRI, the chief organizer has said, imploring others to join in helping refugees relax.
RRI says the event would bring joy and gladness to the Cameroonian Refugees in Akwa Ibom, adding that support through ideas, gifts and cash is highly solicited. Reports however say they’re many other refugees in different states; including Cross River, Calabar, Lagos, Abuja, among others.
There’s an armed conflict in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions with a demand by majority of Anglophones in the North West and South West for a separate state called Ambazonia.
Elements of the armed forces have taken advantage to target innocent civilians, burning down houses, causing thousands to escape into Nigeria and other countries as refugees, sources say.