BOISE, Idaho — Ahead of World Refugee Day Monday, the Boise community welcomed 14 new Americans during a citizenship ceremony Saturday at The Grove Plaza.
The Boise World Refugee Celebration recognizes the contributions refugees bring to communities across Idaho and the globe. The event also highlights the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their countries.
According to Georgette Siqueiros, development and community engagement manager with the International Rescue Committee's Boise office, this was the first World Refugee Day event at The Grove Plaza since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's always great getting to connect with families and getting to hear what they like about their new communities," Siqueiros said. "Of course, there's a lot of challenges as people have to learn a lot from language, to new jobs and everything, but it's really great hearing about the perks. They like what they're enjoying about our community."
The United Nations General Assembly officially recognized World Refugee Day as an international day in December 2000, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency. World Refugee Day falls on June 20 each year.
Saturday's celebration included music, food, dancing, the citizenship ceremony and an opportunity for different cultural traditions from around the world to be shared.
"It's a day to remember the hardships that folks went through, but also to celebrate their resilience and contributions and friendships that make us who we are as a community and as a nation," Director of the Idaho Office for Refugees, Tara Wolfson said.
Amina's Sambusas, Darjeeling MoMo and Tarbush Kitchen offered attendees specialty meals, as The Grove Plaza was shared alongside the Capital City Public Market.
The Idaho Office for Refugees, Agency for New Americans and International Rescue Committee hosted Boise's World Refugee Celebration. Those recognized during the citizenship ceremony came from Iraq, Congo, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, Bhutan, Liberia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
If you missed Saturday's celebration in the City of Trees, there is a Magic Valley World Refugee Day event scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday, June 24, at Twin Falls City Park.
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