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World Refugee Day in Boise celebrates fun, food and freedom

World Refugee Day in Boise is Saturday, June 17, 2023
Idaho Office for Refugees
World Refugee Day in Boise is Saturday, June 17, 2023

Idaho’s resettlement program began in the 1970s as part of a national effort to receive refugees from Southeast Asia after the Vietnam War. Over the years, the world has become a bit more cruel but Idaho, and the Treasure Valley in particular, has opened its arms to men, women and children from the planet’s most dangerous hotspots.

“For this current fiscal year, we’ll be right around 900-1,000 people who we will welcome to our state,” said Holly Beech, Communications Manager for the Idaho Office for Refugees. “In the last couple of years, we have seen an increasing number of refugees from Ukraine and the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

One of those refugees from DRC, Shabire Eliza, has flourished in the Treasure Valley. She’s a recent college graduate with a degree in Psychology and is also a new mom to a beautiful three-month baby girl. And on Saturday, June 17, she’ll be an emcee for World Refugee Day in Boise.

“It’s a day to look back, but don’t cry about it,” she said. “It’s also a day to look to the future. The sky is no longer the limit.”

Eliza and Beech joined Morning Edition host George Prentice to talk about resettlement in Idaho and one of the highlights of the calendar year.

When people ask me, “What time do you start Morning Edition?” my go-to answer is, “Don’t worry. No matter what time you get up, we’re on the job.”

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