Thank you to everyone who made World Refugee Day Boise so special this year! The community came together at four traveling block parties throughout Boise on Saturday.
We enjoyed Nepalese and Peruvian food and Liberian and Bosnian dance performances. We laughed, ate ice cream, found shade wherever possible and enjoyed each other’s company after a year of not getting to gather in person for the annual event.
“It means a lot for advocacy and reconnecting with the community and celebrating what new community members that we have," emcee and Boise State student Halima Hamud told Idaho News 6.
Another exciting aspect of the event — 64 people got vaccinated against COVID-19 during the block party outside Civic Plaza apartments. Members of Neighbors United — a coalition of individuals, businesses and organizations that supports refugee resettlement in Idaho — came together to make the mobile clinic a success.
Saint Alphonsus health care workers along with interpreters staffed the clinic, and Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health supported the purchase of $100 WinCo gift cards for all vaccine recipients. Global Gardens, a program for refugee and immigrant farmers under the Idaho Office for Refugees, provided gift baskets full of produce for anyone who came to the clinic to seek more information about the vaccine.
Saint Alphonsus will be back in the same spot in the coming weeks to provide the booster shot to those who were vaccinated. Knowing that more people are now protected against sickness from COVID-19 is a cause for celebration, said Idaho Office for Refugees Director Tara Wolfson.
“Thank you to everyone who pitched in,” she said, “from creating and handing out flyers ... to bringing a friend, interpreting for people, to moving tables, chairs, vegetables, getting people food and water in line on a sweltering day and more.”
We held four smaller gatherings this year as an extra step of caution to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We’re excited to be all together in one place again for next year’s World Refugee Day event. Mark your calendars for June 18, 2022, at the Grove Plaza in downtown Boise.
Photos by Daniel Olson Photography, courtesy City of Boise
Shout out to our amazing partners who sponsor World Refugee Day: