The Ministry of Home Affairs in partnership with Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) celebrated World Refugee day on Wednesday the 01/July/ 2020, at the LNOC grounds.
Refugee Day is celebrated worldwide on the 20th June every year. This year’s theme is, “a step with refugees”. This year, the Ministry celebrated the day on the 01 July 2020, reason being that Home Affairs had to undergo collaboration negotiations with LNOC, therefor celebration date had to be revised. Collaboration with LNOC is meant to drive the mandate of “Sport for Social Development”. The occasion was graced by the presence of Honourable Minister of Home Affairs, Motlalentoa Letsosa, his Deputy Maimane Maphathe, Deputy Minister Phutuhelo Mafereka, from Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation (MoGYSR), President of LNOC, Director Sports, Commissioner for Refugees and the Refugee Community in Lesotho.
The Commissioner for Refugee reiterated the celebration in remembrance of our brothers in plight. This year’s collaboration with LNOC is a step ahead for moving forward. It is a celebration of its kind during world’s pandemic covid-19. The Deputy Minster MoGYSR reiterated the importance of collaboration in government ministries. Honourable Minister Home Affairs, in adherence to Sustainable Development Goal, the Kingdom of Lesotho has taken a step forward in collaboration with LNOC, in commemorating this occasion in the same month, as LNOC celebrates their day on the 23 and Refugee is on the 20 June, therefore the 01 July 2020, was agreed upon to be a joint venture for the celebration; especially as this collaboration with Refugees is being practiced worldwide. This being done as their way of socialization, distressing them from emotional refugee shock. This year’s celebration is done amidst the world pandemic corona virus, and the government is grateful to the Regional Bureau in Pretoria for resource mobilization for refugees and asylum seekers in Lesotho, who as displaced persons are the most vulnerable, so need to be included in all responses and recovery efforts.
Letsosa alluded the former UNHCR Secretary General’s statement, that “Refugees are like anyone else, hence have to be treated likewise”. He further mentioned that as refugees are integrated in the Basotho community, they are not treated differently and cannot be identified, Basotho’s culture is to treat every human being as such.