Canadian soccer star Alphonso Davies shares story on World Refugee Day

As we mark World Refugee Day, a Canadian soccer star is taking the opportunity to share his personal story and encourage others to show support to those in need.

Alphonso Davies, who currently plays for Bayern Munich as well as Team Canada, posted to Twitter Monday, saying World Refugee Day “is an important moment for me.”

“Anyone can become a refugee at any moment. They deserve our support,” he said in a quote tweet of a post from the UN’s Refugee Agency.

The former Vancouver Whitecaps player was born in a refugee camp in central Ghana on Nov. 2, 2000.

According to his bio on the club’s website, his parents, who are Liberian, fled to Ghana after they left their homeland due to a civil war.

“It was hard, it was dangerous. It was hard to live there because the only way you survive sometimes is you have to carry guns too,” the soccer star’s father, Debeah Davies, said in a 2018 video made by the Whitecaps. “We didn’t have any interest in shooting guns. So, we decided to just escape from there.”

Eventually, when Davies was five, he and his family would end up in Canada, relocating to Ontario in 2006. A year later, the family moved to Edmonton.

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Davies, a UNHCR goodwill ambassador, says “Canada is a leader in refugee resettlement,” adding that makes him proud.

“I’m happy to know more people will be able to rebuild their lives, just like my family,” he’s quoted by the UNHCR as saying.

According to the agency, Canada resettled more refugees last year than anywhere in the world.

Canada has two main refugee programs, according to the government’s website. The Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program is “for people who need protection from outside Canada,” while the second, the In-Canada Asylum Program, is for those making protection claims from within Canada.

People cannot apply directly to Canada for resettlement, the government notes, adding the UN Refugee Agency identifies refugees for resettlement. Private sponsors also help resettle refugees in this country.

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