TALLAHASSEE – The Department of Children and Families (DCF) honors World Refugee Day on June 20 and will be highlighting events throughout the month in recognition of Florida's refugees. Around the world, millions of people have been forced to flee their homes and countries to escape the threat of persecution, conflict and violence. In 2000, the United Nations named June 20 World Refugee Day to honor and recognize refugees who have been displaced. "Thousands of people who are no longer safe in their home countries come to the U.S. seeking freedom and many of them make a new home in Florida," Interim Secretary Carroll said. "We want to honor their courage, recognize their sacrifice and welcome them into our communities." Throughout the month of June, DCF's Refugee Services program and its community partners will be hosting events around the state to recognize Florida refugees and the contributions they make to communities. They will also help introduce civic, religious and community leaders to organizations and agencies that serve refugees in local communities. The events kick off on June 10 with a joint Broward/Palm Beach County event and continue through June in Naples, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tallahassee. For a statewide list of events visit: www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/refugee-services. Florida has the largest refugee population in the U.S. with more than 27,000 resettling in the state annually. While the majority of Florida's refugee clients come from Cuba, the state is home to refugees from 97 different countries. DCF's Refugee Services program is federally funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Refugee Services aims to help Florida's refugees become economically self-sufficient by providing employment assistance, English language classes, youth services and immigration-related legal services. For more information about Florida's Refugee Services, visit www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/refugee-services.
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