Jun 19, 2018

UPDATE: CARE's Support for Refugees Worldwide

There are now 65 million refugees in the world today. Every minute, 24 people around the world are forced to flee their homes. That’s 34,000 people a day who leave everything behind in the hope of finding safety and a better tomorrow. Experience Regina's story written by Kerstin Blidi.  Because of generous donors like you, CARE is able to help the millions of refugees like Regina around the world.

"Regina arrived at Rhino Camp, a settlement of South Sudanese refugees in Arua district in north west Uganda, in July 2016. She had fled her home in Yei, South Sudan, with her five siblings and two of her children, the youngest only 2 months old.

Traveling without her husband, life has been difficult for Regina. “Being both a single mother of two young children and a refugee is challenging and at the beginning I did not know what to do. I did not know how to take care of the house and how to get food for my children,” she explains.

But things improved for Regina, and nowadays she earns a small income from knitting and embroidery. Regina joined a women’s group established by CARE. The group knits and sews together, and sells their products to both refugees and host communities in the area. Now Regina can feed her family and buy school uniforms for her children.

Each week, the women also put aside a little money as a special welfare fund to help if someone’s child falls ill and needs medical attention. While medical treatment is free, transport to and from the clinic requires money. The village saving and loan group, which is organized by CARE, also puts something aside to distribute as loans for new initiatives the women would like to try. In this group, women also do different activities together and discuss their well-being.

For Regina, the benefits are social as well as financial. Many of the forty women who make up the group are single mothers, alone in Uganda with their children. They meet every Sunday after church in order to knit, to sew, and to chat about issues that affect their lives including gender based violence.

This is the second time Regina has been a refugee in Uganda. Rhino Camp was her childhood home before returning to what was then southern Sudan when she was 8 years old. Her father died a year later leaving her mother to raise the family alone. Regina finished school and worked as an assistant at a local clinic. Thanks to her education, she also counsels her friends and colleagues at Rhino Camp, in an effort to reduce the stress and trauma experienced by many through their country’s war and the long journey to safety in Uganda.

Things have improved for Regina but she holds little hope of returning home to South Sudan soon. “With the money I earn, I would like to go back to school and extend my medical skills so that I can serve the community,” she says. “But I am not hopeful of going back to South Sudan. When there is war, there is no hope.”

- Kerstin Blidi, Fundraising Coordinator CARE International

Jun 18, 2018

UPDATE Syrian Refugee Crisis: How CARE Responds

CARE Responds to the Refugee Crisis
CARE Responds to the Refugee Crisis

Intense fighting in Syria has forcibly displaced more people today than any other country. Every day, thousands of Syrians flee violence to seek out food, protection, medical care and other urgently needed aid. There are 13.5 million people inside Syria displaced or in desperate need of humanitarian aid. At least half of the displaced are children. The majority of the nearly 5 million refugees are struggling to meet the most basic needs, having left everything behind. CARE is reaching people impacted by the conflict with humanitarian assistance in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen and inside Syria, providing life-saving emergency assistance as well as solutions to help people cope with the longer term crisis.

Conflict-driven refugee crises present special challenges for women and girls, who often face gender-based violence, inadequate health care and the burden of supporting families in new ways. Women who have lost husbands to war often have to take on greater responsibility, earning incomes on top of workloads at home. Girls, meanwhile, face increased pressure to marry early or drop out of school to work or help with home chores. All this while coping with the trauma of being violently uprooted from home.

But CARE knows women and girls also are the key to preventing a “lost generation” in protracted refugee crises like that in Syria. That’s why CARE’s programming helps women earn a living and girls not only go to school but also hold on to their hopes and dreams for the future. CARE supports youth in activities such as filmmaking and martial arts. We help families pay rent in exchange for sending their girls and boys to school. And CARE supports women through vocational trainings in gastronomy, beautification, and even some of the non-traditional fields such as electronic repairs. CARE also provides women entrepreneurs with equipment to launch their businesses.

More than seven years since the beginning of the crisis, the situation in Syria is still grim and the suffering of the people is far from the end. As CARE, we are committed to help affected communities, inside Syria and around the region, while still advocating for an end to the crisis. Thank you for your generosity which equips us to save lives, achieve social justice, and solve global poverty.

CARE Responds to the Refugee Crisis
CARE Responds to the Refugee Crisis
Mar 22, 2018

Civilians Pay Heavy Toll as Syrian Conflict Enters its Eighth Year

Fatmeh with child
Fatmeh with child

Fatmeh, her husband Mahmoud, and their two children live in a small ground floor room, in a poor neighborhood littered with trash. Three mattresses cover the floor. In one corner, there’s a kitchen sink, and an old cooker next to a small fridge. Behind a rickety door is the bathroom. A single bulb hangs from the ceiling, and allows the windowless room to be lit when there is power. This room was not built as a living space but as a storage space. The owner fixed it up as Fatmeh says, and rented it to the Syrian family.

Fatmeh family home in Syria was destroyed during the war. She married in a hurry back home to be able to move to Lebanon with her then fiancé. They settled down in Tripoli, the country’s second largest city, where he works as a waiter and she takes care of the children. 

My husband is an IT technician but in Lebanon, he can only work as a waiter. This day job allows us to pay the rent and survive. With two children, the rest of his paycheck goes into nappies and milk, says Fatmeh. She counts on support from her neighbors and friends, including the many Syrian refugees who live in the area. Her wishes reflect her family’s financial hardship. 

I wish we had some more money so I can buy a closet, or a set of drawers,  she says pointing to a couple of boxes propped against the wall, where she keeps all their clothes. Fatmeh dreams of only one thing: to go back one day to Syria and finish her studies.

I want to transmit the love of education to my children, she says.  

CARE has been providing aid in Syria since 2014, and has reached more than 2.7 million people so far. Your donation helps us reach the victims of this war. Our programs focuse on food security, livelihoods, shelter, water and sanitation, and psychosocial support. We also work with Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

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