The Virtual Refugee Conference is open to everyone | Photo: picture-alliance/H. Kaiser
The Virtual Refugee Conference is open to everyone | Photo: picture-alliance/H. Kaiser

This World Refugee Day, anyone interested in the themes of refugees and empowerment will have the chance to take part in a Virtual Refugee Conference. This rare event will include refugees, activists and others from all over the world.

Do you have something to say or are you interested in hearing about economic empowerment, refugee education, interview skills, or the challenges for refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic? Then the global Virtual Refugee Conference, hosted by Kiron, an online learning platform for refugees, is for you.

"We can only change what happens when everyone's voice is heard," says Sabrina Konzok who heads Kiron's strategic partnerships section in Berlin. By Thursday morning, more than 1,000 people had registered, and Konzok hopes that many more will join the conversation.

Refugees welcome

The conference is open to everyone, but migrants and refugees are especially encouraged to take part, says Konzok.

Most sessions are interactive, meaning that participants will have the chance to share their own stories and to ask questions. "I'm really looking forward to seeing so many young people and change-makers," Konzok says.

"At our previous offline events we were never able to bring in everyone, but this virtual conference really gives us the chance to engage with everyone and include people from around the world."

What is it about?

The broad themes of the conference are refugee education, employment and empowerment. The opening session on Friday morning will be a panel discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on refugee education. 

The program on Saturday 20 June, World Refugee Day, covers a wide range of topics, including the importance of digital literacy and other skills for refugees, the negative portrayal of migrants and refugees in the media and the situation of Afghan refugees in neighboring countries. There will also be an interactive workshop about career planning and creating a CV.

Konzok especially recommends tuning in for the presentation of the Impact Prize on Saturday at 6 p.m. (CET). Among the many submissions are "innovative solutions to help young refugees build self-confidence, careers in their asylum countries," by Raoul Ardy Manirakiza, a refugee in Rwanda; and a program offering high-quality education offline to people in refugee camps who don't have access to the internet, by Racheal Khasoha in Kenya.

Photo credit: Anne Parsons, Kiron Open Higher Education

When, where, how?

The program begins on Friday, 19 June at 10 a.m. (all times given are GMT+2 or Central European Time). The last session is on Saturday, 20 June at 8:30 p.m.

Signing up is very easy via the GET INVOLVED button at the top of the conference website You can still register on Saturday morning.

In case you can't take part "live," most of the sessions will be recorded so you can watch them at a later date.


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