July 12, 2018 05:49 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- There are more than 65 million refugees worldwide, according to the United Nations. One Rochester man is working to help refugees in Northern France.
Michael Jurrens is a France Ministry Partner at International Association for Refugees.
The organization supports asylum seekers in Northern France. They help refugees survive by providing food, water, and basic medical care. Then they focus on recovery from displacement by fostering a supportive community.
Michal says this issue is close to his heart because he is an adopted father and veteran of Afghanistan.
"Between those two things, my passion for serving marginalized people has increased and I wanted to turn that into action in my own life, so that's how I got involved with refugees," said Michael.
Most of Michael’s work is international, but he brings back what he learned to local communities.
On Thursday, he spoke to Rochester’s Rotary Club as part of their weekly speaker series.
"Today's topic was a great example of a timely topic. There was a local connection with Michael Jurrens having experience and plans to actually help with a refugee situation in France," said President of Rochester’s Rotary Club Sarah Gilliland.
Michael wants to raise awareness about refugees for Rochester residents.
"A lot of the fear we have for any person who is a stranger is we don't know them and have never said hello," said Michael.
He says there are simple things residents can do to support local refugees.
"Find one person who has been a refugee and has a cup of coffee. Maybe they don't speak English well, do something. It doesn't have to be a big group, you don't have to solve the issue," said Michael.
Created: July 12, 2018 05:49 PM
Copyright 2018 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company