USA for UNHCR Selects Former Refugee Methusella Rwabose as World Refugee Day Featured Storyteller

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In recognition of World Refugee Day, June 20, USA for UNHCR today announced 23-year-old Methusella Rwabose, a former refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as the organization’s featured storyteller.

This World Refugee Day, former refugee Methusella Rwabose is named as USA for UNHCR’s featured storyteller.

Methusella’s narrative of his journey – where access to education became paramount – was selected from a group of powerful submissions to the Storyteller Celebration contest.


“It’s critical that we serve as a megaphone for the lived experience of refugees like Methusella, so that we can celebrate the positive impact that an inclusive and welcoming community can have on newcomers,” said Suzanne Ehlers, Executive Director and CEO of USA for UNHCR. “Including refugees in the communities where they have found safety after fleeing conflict and persecution is the most effective way to support them in restarting their lives.”

After living in a refugee camp for seven years, Methusella resettled to the U.S. in 2015. His first year in the country as a high school student in Denver, CO was documented in Helen Thorpe’s book, The Newcomers. Earlier this month, Methusella graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in Political Science.

“One thing I’ve learned throughout my journey as a refugee is that those with lived experience are often in the best position to help bring about positive impactful change. While I hope for a peaceful future for those back in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I know that my knowledge, energy and opportunity to make positive changes are in my community in Denver,” said Methusella.

In 2021, Methusella co-founded Colectivo de Paz, a nonprofit that creates communities of action that empower working-class immigrants, refugees, people of color, veterans, unhoused community members, at-risk students and other historically marginalized people in Denver.

Two other refugee storytellers were selected to be featured as part of World Refugee Day activities, including:

  • Dahabo Kerow, 26: Dahabo was born in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya before being resettled to the United States at the age of seven. In the U.S., Dahabo has been confronted with discrimination and has used her poetry as an outlet to explore identity and what it means to be a refugee living in the U.S.

  • Rojina Rai, 17: Rojina’s family is originally from Bhutan and were forced to seek refuge in Nepal. She was born in a refugee camp and her family was resettled to Ohio when she was a child. Rojina submitted a short illustrated story titled, “I Choose to be Courageous,” inspired by her desire to share her journey to the United States.

Boston native Jennifer Sanchez is also featured as part of this year’s contest as a refugee ally. Planet Nutshell, the creative studio where Jen is an Art Director, recently produced the film, Azúcar, which features the story of a young boy and his mother who have been forced to flee their home due to gang violence. Jen’s own parents left  Colombia in the 1980s, escaping crime and violence, and laid roots down in East Boston where they opened a neighborhood bakery. The bakery, La Sultana, became a gathering place for immigrants and refugees, and inspired Jen to create art in the service of the immigrant and refugee experience.

To screen short films featuring Methusella and Jen, and learn more about these individual stories, visit

About USA for UNHCR

USA for UNHCR protects refugees and empowers them with hope and opportunity. Supporting UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – and its partners, we provide lifesaving essentials including shelter, water, food, safety and protection. Around the world, we help refugees survive, recover and build a better future. Established by concerned American citizens, USA for UNHCR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, visit

First celebrated on June 20, 2001, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, World Refugee Day is a key moment in time to communicate with the world about who refugees are and why they require protection.

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USA for UNHCR Selects Former Refugee Methusella Rwabose as World Refugee Day Featured Storyteller WeeklyReviewer

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