Stevens Point, Wisconsin: June 20 is World Refugee Day. In honor of World Refugee Day, the National Wellness Institute (NWI) launched a fundraising campaign to train refugees around the world on how to drive high-level wellness initiatives within their communities. Utilizing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as its key measurements of success, NWI established ACT WELL for Everyone, Everywhere, a part of its WellFinder Community Impact Initiative.

ACT Well for Everyone, Everywhere is a multidimensional, multicultural cooperative designed to link 4 of the 17 SDG’s with an organic, boundary-spanning assembly of experts, change agents, coaches, consultants, and expeditors.  The cooperative is tasked with transitioning research and planning into an activation strategy led by the refugees themselves. ACT WELL trains refugees to impact the 4 selected SDG goals. The United Nations created SDG’s to be a blueprint that achieves a better and more sustainable future for all.  That dream requires properly trained and supported activation by those impacted. The four SDG’s that ACT WELL focuses on are good health and wellbeing, quality water, zero-hunger, and a vibrant community. Positively impacting these four SDG’s through refugee training, support, and activation determines ACT WELL’s success.

“It is a fact that achievement is best sustained when we train those who are impacted to collaboratively work alongside those who seek to help them.” states NWI’s CEO, Chuck Gillespie, “Shifting mindsets, behaviors, and practices occurs when locally trained connectors, coaches, and expeditors are working with and not for the experts and specialists. We must train refugees to be the connectors, coaches, and expeditors while examining the unique expertise each brings to the ACT WELL cooperative.”

According to statistics from the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the health and well-being of refugees is a major issue that continues to worsen. In 2021, 84 million people worldwide were forced to leave their homes and flee to a new country – the highest number of forcibly displaced individuals recorded. Ukraine refugees are adding to these numbers by the millions. Needs like a sense of community, quality water, and proper nutrition are at the heart of health and wellbeing for every child and adult living as a refugee.

Driving change and generating opportunities for displaced refugees require strategies for helping themselves and their fellow refugees. A series of nine courses, actionable steps, and a global support network are being finalized by Senior Fellows of the National Wellness Institute. NWI’s initial fundraising goal of $500,000 is just the starting point.  “It will take substantially more than $500,000 to achieve ACT WELL’s goal.  We will start with one or two locations and then expand.  But the sooner we reach our goal the sooner we can train our first communities and begin expanding the web-of-support. We already have contributions and donations totaling $175,000 committed” states Gillespie.

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The National Wellness Institute (NWI) is the leader in providing gold-standard professional development and engagement opportunities that support professionals from a variety of disciplines in promoting whole–person wellness. NWI is the worldwide voice of the wellness community and serves as a guidepost for Certified Wellness Practitioners who are ready to evolve their professional competencies and make a greater impact on the human experience.

To access the Social Activation of Wellness Report, visit the National Wellness Institute at