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World Refugee Day: Healing and Hope for People in Need

Life is uncertain and no one knows this better than a refugee. As we commemorate World Refugee Day on June 20, we honor the courage and strength of people who have been forced to flee and have become refugees. Seeking to escape conflict, persecution, or natural disasters, refugees often leave their homes with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. In the wake of such trauma, it becomes difficult to provide for even their most basic needs, including safe water.  

“Refugees are suddenly uprooted from everything,” shared John*, whose family found refuge in another country after fleeing a civil conflict in their own country. “They lose their jobs. They lose their homes. Their families can become divided. That becomes so tough.” 

According to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, there are currently more than 103 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. Among this group, 36.5 million are children.  

Meeting daily basic needs like food and safe water can be a big challenge for displaced people. But, for those who find solace in refugee and internally displaced people (IDP) camps where Water Mission serves, there is hope. 

Safe water provides health and hope to those living in tents in IDP and refugee camps.

“Living in the camp, thanks to God, we have water to drink and food to eat,” said Melek, a mother of two living in an IDP camp in Nurdağı, Turkey. “When I pray, I’m praying that God will spare us from another earthquake like this and that He will help our family and country recover.” 

Since 2013, Water Mission has been working in IDP and refugee camps to provide safe water to those in need. In 2022 alone, we served more than 800,000 refugees. 

In addition to safe water and sanitation, Water Mission offers a unique Trauma Healing program for refugees. This program focuses on helping people work through emotional, mental, and spiritual struggles caused by their circumstances.

The Trauma Healing program teaches people how to forgive and work through strong emotions caused by their circumstances.

“This program meets people where they are,” said Josue Mpayamaguru, Water Mission Program Design Specialist. “We listen to them. They listen to each other. We create a space to express themselves. They are angry. They have issues they have gone through. By listening to others, they start to feel relieved. They see they are sharing the same problems and this is a time to encourage one another.” 

By honoring World Refugee Day, we join the UNHCR in encouraging all people to “champion the refugee’s right to seek safety, build support for their economic and social inclusion, and advocate for solutions to their plight.” 

Their determination to persevere and rebuild their lives amidst such trials is truly remarkable. 


Water Mission was born out of the need for safe water following Hurricane Mitch more than 20 years ago. Since then, support from friends like you have enabled us to serve men, women, and children following some of the world’s most devastating natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Will you prayerfully consider helping us bring safe water and trauma healing to those in need?   

*Name of refugee has been changed to allow for anonymity. 

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