Celebrating Refugees' Resilience and Perserverence


"To see a World in a grain of sand,
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour."  – Auguries of Innocence

These words from William Blake would have resonated with anyone who attended World Vision’s Refugee Day celebration at Federation Square on Wednesday last week as part of World Refugee Day 2018.

The poem is part warning, that the mistreatment of nature and people has consequences. It’s also part revelation, that the beauty of nature and the universe can be found in small things.

On World Refugee Day we commemorated the perseverance and showed support for the millions of families around the globe forced to flee their homes. During the day, Blake’s words were juxtaposed with images of three small legumes, painted with miniature images of children who are on the move.

The children are three of the 68.5 million displaced people in the world – the highest number in recorded history. For this artwork, the medium is the message: tiny sustenance is a matter of life and death for those who need it.

The event started with real stories from people World Vision has worked with in refugee settlements around the world, including from South Sudan, Myanmar and Syria.




Roghayeh Sadeghi was the first speaker, a 15-year-old student born in Afghanistan. A strong Muslim girl, she came to Australia as a refugee with her mother and nine siblings in 2012. She is in Year 10 and plans on going on to study law.

She spoke of her dream to be a human rights lawyer and advocate for diversity, inclusion, equality and the rights of the LGBTQI+ community, as well as, being a role model for the Muslim community.

Innocent Karabagega was our second speaker. He is a 25-year-old father of two, husband, brother, friend, employee and law student. Innocent has an indomitable spirit and an overwhelming desire to give back to Australia, the country he now calls home. Innocent dreams of his future – he wants to work for the United Nations as a human rights lawyer and wants to set up medical centres in his home country, Burundi, for those infected with HIV.

More importantly, Innocent wants to educate Australian youth about the experience of being a refugee to inspire and motivate them to make the most out of every opportunity they are given.

The day ended with a performance from The Travellers who have been creating and playing music together since they were children. Born in a refugee camp to South Sudanese parents, cousins Clement and Angelo came to Australia as young children. Starting as buskers at Southern Cross train station, the duo have now recorded their first original material and are engaged in appearances at schools, corporate and community events and festivals across Melbourne.


Lentil Impact


Picture: a painting on a lentil of a child displaced from his home and now receiving emergency food through World Vision.  The artwork is one of a series of three created by Lorraine Loots, a South African artist who creates miniature paintings. They have been painted as a one-of-a-kind project to promote World Vision’s Big Impact Appeal. Her extraordinary work will be auctioned online to raise funds and awareness for the appeal, a partnership with a United Nations World Food Program, where donations provide up to 10 times their original value in food assistance. 

The auction of Loots’ artwork runs until 30 June 2018.

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