The New Year celebration is always remembered by FOCAS staff for many different reasons. Firstly, it is always the day that the Oromo and other Ethiopian refugees remember they are in their new country as new year was celebrated in different season. The Oromo people, FOCAS’ majority members do celebrate January as resistance day against operation and subjugations.
Then February comes. FOCAS has been celebrating Family day since its inception. On these days’ newcomers join in to learn how the Oromo and other newcomers’ family strive in Canada. Potluck and other Oromo cultural foods and traditional costumes are displayed. It is the holiday that families come together and enjoy their lives in Canada. Several educational, cultural and entertainment programs are presented. New members are registered and fundraisings are held.
The year 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the status of Refugees. The UN General Assembly therefore decided that 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day from 2001 onwards (A/ REA/55/76). World Refugee Day honors the strength and courage of refugees and encourages public awareness and support of the refugees, people who have had to flee their home lands because of conflict or natural disaster.
As majority of FOCAS members have refugee backgrounds and lived the refugee experience for many years. As such refugee day is special for us and we celebrate these days to remember our past and help alleviate the refugee lives as of now.