World Refugee Day 2016: resettled refugees and hosts share stories of hope

Geneva, 17 June 2016 - To commemorate World Refugee Day on 20 June 2016, the International Catholic Migration Commission is launching a public call to share messages and stories of support and solidarity towards refugees worldwide.

With more than 60 million people fleeing violence, conflicts or persecutions, a lack of legal channels to allow people to migrate safely, and insufficient support for successful integration of refugees into host countries, there is an urgent need to show solidarity towards refugees and to share messages of hope and mercy with them.

During this Holy Year of Mercy and in response to Pope Francis’ invitation to open our hearts and our doors to the people in need, ICMC already called on people to share “Hands of Mercy”: messages of hope and mercy written on hands in support of migrants worldwide. Between January and June 2016, many people around the world shared photos of their hands with powerful messages. These testimonies came in from Canada, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Switzerland, the United States of America, and Turkey.

Watch the video: Hands of Mercy

In observance of this World Refugee Day 2016, ICMC is now sharing stories of resettled refugees as a witness to their strength and determination despite the hardship they have endured and as an encouragement to maintain faith and hope for those still stranded or awaiting resettlement in transit countries. Through the story of an American family, which hosted over 50 refugee families fleeing war in Vietnam, ICMC is also calling attention to the benefits refugees brought to their host communities during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

ICMC believes that, even today, it is possible to truly change the lives of many people forced to flee by welcoming the stranger and providing integration opportunities for refugees.

Read our stories:


Ana, a Ukrainian lady in a refugee camp in Austria during the Second World Wa

Ana, a Ukrainian woman who lived in a refugee camp in Austria during the Second World War.

Peggy and Tom

Vietnamese refugees resettled to the United States during the 1970’s and 1980’s

Peggy and Tom, two Americans whose father hosted Vietnamese refugees during the 1970’s and 1980’s.


Maliha, a Rohingya woman resettled to the USA

Maliha, a Rohingya woman who was born stateless and was eventually resettled from Malaysia to the USA.


Jahmir, a journalist from Iraq, was resettled to the USA

Jahmir, a journalist from Iraq who was resettled together with his family from Turkey to the USA.



Share your stories, and help make a difference:

Show us your #HandsOfMercy

Write a message of mercy, hope and solidarity on your hand, take a picture and post it on social media using the #HandsOfMercy hashtag.

Share your #StoryOfMercy

Share your personal story, or a story of peace and mercy towards refugees, on social media using the hashtags #StoryOfMercy and #WithRefugees.

Support us

Support the work ICMC is doing all around the world to serve and protect people forced to flee conflicts, wars, and poverty. Donate now!



Follow us on: