World Refugee Day

Throughout the years, Dallas ISD has had the opportunity to welcome students from all over the globe, some who come to the country as refugees. Last school year alone, there were approximately 800 students identified as refugee arrivals in the district.

Last school year, the district had the largest numbers of new refugee arrivals from Burma (Rohingya ethnic group), Democratic Republic of Congo, and Afghanistan. Some other countries included Sudan, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Syria, Venezuela, Guatemala, Honduras, and very few from Ukraine, according to Zeljka Ravlija, coordinator of the Refugee School Impact Program. 

To shine a light and honor refugees around the world, World Refugee Day is celebrated on June 20 each year. According to the United Nations website, It is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

Some of the languages of refugee students in the district include Rohingya, Swahili, French, Arabic, Spanish, Tigrinya, Pashto, Dari, Kinyarwanda, and Burmese. 

“Refugee students are a remarkable group who offer many assets to the classroom,” Ravlija said. “Typically, refugee students and their families place great importance on education. Often refugee parents will make great sacrifices so their children can excel in the United States. Such high aspirations are a good starting point for refugee students,” she said.  

The district’s role is to provide guidance and attention to the needs of refugee students to help foster their successful adjustment, Ravlija added. 

World Refugee Day will be celebrated internationally through events that are led by or involve the support of refugees. For more information about World Refugee Day, visit


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