One World Soccer Tournament: . This annual tournament brings refugee teams from Afghanistan, Burundi, Burma, Congo, Iraq, Karen, and Somalia together in a positive, community-building activity. This event not only gave the teams a chance to showcase their talents, it also united communities that have historically experienced fractiousness and tension. In fact, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) even recognizes the power of sport in its peace building work. For our refugee communities, soccer provides a forum for unity, collaboration, and builds bridges; despite language, culture, political and religious differences, soccer remains a source of unity and commonality.
World Refugee Day Celebration: On June 20, the AARRC Community Center was home to a lively celebration to honor and bring visibility to the Phoenix refugee community. Approximately 200 refugee and mainstream community members attended. The centerpiece of this event was a World Refugee Day Youth Art Contest, hosted in partnership with Catholic Charities and the Arizona State Refugee Resettlement Program. Over 50 youth from refugee communities within Phoenix submitted art pieces on the theme “My Place in Our World.” The winning selections will be displayed in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services offices.