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World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day Celebration Successfully Held in La Jolla

The 23rd annual event, which took place at La Jolla Presbyterian Church, commemorated the challenges overcome by refugees as they forged new lives in San Diego.

SAN DIEGO — La Jolla Presbyterian Church played host to an inspiring gathering of more than two hundred individuals on Tuesday, as they came together to commemorate World Refugee Day. The event featured a series of speakers, an engaging fashion show, and a successful silent auction.

“Reflecting on the over 110 million refugees worldwide facing adversity, this day serves as a poignant reminder to focus on their experiences, understand their challenges, and collectively strive to make a positive impact for global peace,” emphasized Walter Lam, President and CEO of the local non-profit, Alliance for African Assistance. Lam, a former refugee from Uganda who fled persecution in the 1980s, now leads an organization dedicated to assisting other refugees in their resettlement in San Diego.

Highlighting the diverse backgrounds of attendees, Lam acknowledged that many in the audience had escaped violence in their home countries, seeking a brighter future in the United States. Among them, some have become entrepreneurs, others contribute to county services, and a few have found roles as rideshare drivers.

Expressing pride in the San Diego community's welcoming approach to refugees, Lam remarked, "I'm so proud of our community in San Diego for embracing refugees. Many have actively participated, especially in supporting Ukrainians. Numerous families have opened their homes, providing shelter and care. This spirit of compassion is one that should endure."


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