Monday, November 03, 2008

BlogCatalog.com Partners With Refugees United

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — BlogCatalog.com, the fastest-growing social network for bloggers on the Internet, is partnering with Refugees United, which provides refugees with an anonymous forum to help reconnect missing family members. The goal of the event is to raise global social awareness on Nov. 10.

The campaign, Bloggers Unite For Refugees, asks bloggers from all over the world to post about the plight of refugees on the same day, Nov. 10. Collectively, their posts will reach millions of people all over the world at the same time, even in those countries where freedom of expression is regularly suppressed.
“This Bloggers Unite campaign continues our efforts to promote human rights like we did on May 15 with Amnesty International by narrowing our efforts to benefit the victims of global atrocities,” said Antony Berkman, president of BlogCatalog.com. “Refugees United goes a long way in helping refugees reconnect with their family, anonymously when needed.”

In addition to promoting the campaign to its members, Refugees United aims to form alliances with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to work with it to help refugees find missing family.

“More than 11 million people are stateless and more than 40 million people are displaced around the world,” says Christopher T. Mikkelsen, founder, Refugees United. “All too often, because of wars and natural disasters, families lose everything, including citizenship when they lack any official proof of birth. Without these documents, they become ghosts with no government willing to provide them any assistance whatsoever. Many of them lose contact with family members forever.”

Berkman said many bloggers would expand on their stories about the displacement of people in Darfur, Sudan; the continuing plight of thousands in Myanmar; and other areas of the world where government has abandoned people. He added that some bloggers might even consider writing about the thousands of people who remain displaced in Houston, Texas.

“While they are not refugees attempting to escape war and persecution, they are people who have lost everything and have nowhere to go,” said Berkman. “We thought it would make a suitable option for some American bloggers to help them relate to what many refugees have struggled against for more than a century.”

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) can award legal refugee status, but only one percent of all refugees are offered an opportunity to resettle in a third country. Currently, only Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States have resettlement programs for refugees.

Since last year, BlogCatalog.com has evolved from a blog directory into a member-driven online community for bloggers. More than 150,000 individually approved bloggers interact on BlogCatalog every day.

The mission of Refugees United is to help refugees in their search for lost loved ones. Its aim is to provide a global, anonymous, and dedicated refugee network that will eventually end the torture of not knowing whether relatives and loved ones are dead or alive.

BlogCatalog.com continues its commitment to giving back with its excellent Bloggers Unite Campaign. To learn more, visit unite.blogcatalog.com.

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