Tag - Refugees

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International Refugees Day
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Children refugees, a growing crisis
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4 social challenges in which business should also play a role in this 2017
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Nicequest joins “Nobody left outside” campaign
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Building a new rural school in Sierra Leone, the new Nice Quest challenge
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Omar, the Syrian child that smiles again
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Help against the cold and the rain, refugee’s new enemy
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Emergency relief for the refugee crisis
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Help Syrian refugees

International Refugees Day

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Today, 20 of June, takes place the International Refugee Day; an opportunity that allows us to get a closer look at the reality of UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).

Almost everyone has heard of the acronym UNHCR, but very few know that the organization was born in 1950 with the challenge of resetting one million Europeans who became homeless after World War II. Since then, UNHCR has provided humanitarian aid to millions of people who have had to leave their homes due to armed conflict or persecution. In total, 49.7 million people are under its protection. What are their current priorities and focus of action? We talk with Joan Reventós, Director of the Catalan Committee of UNHCR

Today, there are 65, 6 million displaced people in the world. What is the main aim of UNHCR?

The UNHCR’s main challenge is to protect and assist refugees and displaced persons through persecution or war, and to promote durable solutions to their situation, through voluntary repatriation, integration into the first countries of asylum or through resettlement in third countries. With the current levels of forced displacement in the world, it is a great challenge to find durable solutions, as more than ninety percent of all displaced people live in the world’s most impoverished countries and their reception capacities, despite their solidarity, are very limited

These are people who have had to flee armed conflict or persecution and are forced to seek security in the nearby countries. What is the biggest challenge once they cross the border of their country?

It is essential that people who cross borders in search of security can effectively access their rights as persons with international protection needs. Therefore, the states that host them must have the appropriate laws, procedures and guarantees to offer asylum. Together with the legal certainty necessary to reside in a new country, they need sufficient support to be able to restart their lives and to enable them to live independently and autonomously, with the aim of becoming active subjects of the host societies, If there are conditions to return, in their countries of origin.

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After 67 years since the creation of UNHCR, today there are more than 50 people under your protection. How has the experience been since today?

A complex path, full of challenges and difficulties; Successes and learning. Plagued with dilemmas. UNHCR’s mandate, both to protect and assist refugees and internally displaced persons and to reduce the number of stateless persons in the world, is a daunting challenge which requires a combination of different sensitivities and interests at global, regional and local levels.

Is there any project or past experience that serves to respond to the present needs?

There are different experiences that can serve as examples in the face of the challenges that the international community now has to face in order to reduce current levels of forced displacement. One of them was the one promoted by Fridtjof Nansen, a scientist, diplomat and statesman; A humanist with deep compassion for human beings who, at the request of the League of Nations, encouraged the High Commissioner for Refugees, an initial seed of what is now UNHCR, becoming the first international organization Dedicated entirely to finding solutions for people fleeing wars and conflicts. Nansen, thanks to his excellent diplomatic skills, reached an agreement for 52 countries to authorize the issuance of what was called “Nansen passports”, personal identification cards that allowed their holders to travel without arousing suspicion or encountering border problems. For almost two decades, these certificates enabled millions of people to be saved from persecution and barbarism, people who played a very important role in the development of host societies

In recent months, the various conflicts that have taken place in Syria, South Sudan and Yemen, among others, have been described as the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. How do you see the current and future scenario?

With concern and hope. Concern because the number of forced displacements has multiplied in recent years, and this means that millions of people have become, often overnight, refugees or displaced persons; Forced to leave their homes behind, to shed most of their belongings and, what is worse, to live the uprooting. While accelerating this process, we find that the international community does not find the political solutions necessary for this trend to be reversed in the short or medium term.

On the other hand, with hope since, in this, as in many other things in life, the Pareto Law can be of great help to us. If among all of us we are committed to addressing the causes and consequences of the four most bloody conflicts or crises that now plague the world (Syria, Palestine, South Sudan and Somalia), 80% of the more than 65 million displaced people which now scandalize us, could start thinking about returning to their homes. It may seem utopian, but it is only a matter of will and determination

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What can we all do from here?

On the one hand, as citizens of a global world, be aware that forced displacement is not something alien and distant to us. Everyone could be a refugee some day,  almost all the people who inhabit the land today have a relative who in his day had to flee his home because of the war.  Understanding it implies understanding that behind each figure there is a person like us: with desires, hopes, fears and loves … People like you and me.

Lastly, and until political solutions to conflicts have been found, the humanitarian community needs the support of individuals and organizations in order to respond to the enormous needs that are detected in the most impoverished countries. For this reason, I invite you to become a partner or donor of the Spanish Committee of UNHCR, either by calling 913690670 or through our website www.eacnur.org, your contribution, added to that of more than 400,000 Spanish regular contributors allows us to continue #changing stories.

Worldcoo Team

Children refugees, a growing crisis

In the last two years, Europe has experienced its largest arrival of refugees ever, a situation that has cast doubt of the capability of many member states to offer asylum to many people, the majority of whom, have fled armed conflicts.

In every crisis, beyond all the people who embark on certain journeys with the hope of a safer life, there are victims who are even more vulnerable, and thus, punished even more at the expense of migration. These victims are children.

The following statistics were published by UNICEF in their report Uprooted: The growing crisis for refugee and migrant children”. These are some facts, which should catch the attention of every country in the world:

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  1. Almost 50 million children all over the world have crossed their borders or have had been forced to migrate.
  2. Of these 50 million, 11 million are refugees and have had to seek asylum.
  3. Almost 1 of every 3 children who live outside of their birth country is a refugee.
  4. In the world today, 1 out every 200 children is a refugee.
  5. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of children refugees under UNHCR mandate more than doubled.
  6. Children today represent half of all refugees.
  7. Migrant children and displaced people are exposed to suffering the worst types of abuse, frequently falling in the hands of trafficker networks and other criminals.
  8. To establish yourself in a safe place proves difficult for the displaced people and, normally, the threats and dangers that confront them take place once they are in their destination country.

Children thus become the most exposed victims to the danger of migration. Protecting them is everyone’s responsibility and everybody should do their part to do protect them.

Some of the proposals that UNICEF make to fight against this situation are ending the detention of child migrants, keeping the migrant families together as a way to protect the younger ones, giving children access to education and healthcare, as well as other quality services and promoting the fight against xenophobia, discrimination and exclusion in the transit and destination countries.

 Worldcoo Team

4 social challenges in which business should also play a role in this 2017

What is happening in the world? What problems are facing our society and our planet? These are the social challenges which we, and also businesses, will have to face this year:

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1. HungerAccording to a recent report published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, “The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015”, in 2015 there were 705 million people in the world that were living without access to the necessary alimentation in order to lead a healthy life. This means that 10.9% of the world’s population is currently living in hunger.

The major inequality which can be seen in the figures concerning hunger in different country, is perhaps, the most alarming: in Haiti, 53.4% of the population is malnourished, whereas 47.8% in Zambia and 47.7% in the Central African Republic, and of course, amongst those people, children. These are ultimately statistics which we have to fight against from all the entities which form part of our society.

2.PollutionIllnesses caused by air pollution already produce around 7,000 deaths per year in our country. In 2015, The World Health Organisation (WHO) claimed that 95% of the Spanish population was breathing air which contained more than the recommended amount of pollution, a pollution which is cause mainly by traffic in the big cities and their corresponding metropolitan areas, but also cause by industrial activities.

To put a stop to emissions is everybody’s responsibility and it is a question of life or death for many people. Now, nobody can remain on the side-lines in the fight against pollution.

3.InequalityThe gap between the rich and the poor is a global problem which affects every country in this world. In 2015, 1% of the world’s population had as much wealth as the poorest 80%. Our country is not an exception to this situation, and actually, according to the report “An economy for the 1%”, Spain is positioned as the country with the second highest level of inequality in the world, only behind Cyprus.

The recent years have brought an alarming amount of poverty and exclusion in our country, with the rate of the people in risk of exclusion raising to the figure of 13.4 million people in 2014, which makes up 29.2% of the Spanish population.

Fighting against poverty and building more equal cities and countries is everyone’s responsibility.

4. The refugee crisisIn 2015, according to annual report from The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of displaced people from their country equalled the populations of Spain, Portugal and Australia put together, more than 65 million people left their homes and 21.3 million of them were refugees fleeing from war and persecution.

More than half of the refugees were minors less than 18 years old, and 98,400 of them were children who were fleeing alone or separated from their families. Poverty also hits these people who have had to leave everything behind. The responsibility to search and find a solution for this situation is shared between everybody.

Worldcoo Team.

Nicequest joins “Nobody left outside” campaign

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With the beginning of the new year, Nicequest starts a new solidarity campaign so that their users have the opportunity to continue collaborating in cooperation projects through their participation in different kinds of surveys.

Throughout 2017, the company will respond to many of the social causes and humanitarian emergencies that require attention and are linked to the United Nations sustainable development goals, such as guarantee access to safe drinking water, eradicate poverty or the prevention of the environment.

Their first challenge is related to providing assistance to more than 65 million people who are out of their homes, 50% of them are children.

 Did you know that every second, 24 people become displaced?

It is a record data of human displacement. In a few years, the number of refugees has increased dramatically due to the crisis in Syria and the conflicts in South Sudan, Central African Republic, Burundi and Central America.

In front of this situation, Nicequest has joined to the worldwide campaign “Nobody left outside”, leaded by UNHCR. The project seeks to shelter 2 million people who have been forced to flee their homes and who do not have a shelter.

 

Through the donations from Nicequest, 13 emergency shelters for homeless refugee families will be distributed in UNHCR camps, giving access to a home to 100 people.

If you want, you can follow the donation process HERE.

Worldcoo Team.

 

Building a new rural school in Sierra Leone, the new Nice Quest challenge

In just one week, Nice Quest users have collected the 4.000€  necessaries to help 720 kids under 6 months against severe malnutrition in Chad, where there are more than 370.000 refugees. The project will be leaded by UNHCR, who currently works there to mitigate and prevent food insecurity and malnutrition by proving refugees access to enough nutritional food. You can remember it HERE.

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#NewProject

Afther this successful campaign, we present today the new project to solve an new need with the help of Nice Quest users, who will have the chance to show once again their solidarity and collaboration. Here is it!

The new challenge is to fund the construction of a new rural school and and train teachers to provide access to education to 200 children over a period of 3 years.

streetchildIn this ocasion, we will do that with Street Child, who currently works in two of the least developed countries in the world: Sierra Leone and Liberia, where an estimated 500,000 children of primary age do not go to school.

Street Child  helps vulnerable and street-connected children, in rural areas to access education. In Sierra Leone, they will build a new school and train teachers to provide students quality education and reduce rural-urban inequalities in children’s education.

The NiceQuest community has already started to fund the 4.000€ necessaries. If you want, you can follow the proccess HERE.

Worldcoo Team.

Omar, the Syrian child that smiles again

Today we are going to explain a story about Omar, a Syrian child of 8 years old that has a body like a 5 years child that, thanks to all the people that have made a donation to UNHCR to help Syrian refugees, smiles again.

Over 2 years ago, while Omar was playing with his sisters in the street a rocket reached their home in Syria. From there and from the moment in which someone killed his uncle, Omar and his family fled to Lebanon searching a better life.

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As we have said before, Omar is 8 years old but his body is like a body of a child of 5 years. That’s because he was born with a rare growth-hormone deficiency that causes him different disorders in his physical development. In Syria, Omar received a treatment for grow but since he is living in Lebanon his family haven’t been able to afford the treatment.

Omar can’t grow without continuous hormone and vitamin treatment, but his parents try to give him healthy food to help him. According to them, Omar needs a treatment of 4 or 5 years to reach puberty.

Before this situation, at the end of June, UNHCR suggested that his case was studied to carry him and his family to a European country where Omar could have access to the treatment he needs and he could fulfill his dream: “be as high as the ceiling”.

Today we are glad to announce that thanks to all the people that have made a donation to the projects for refugees or have made a direct donation to UNHCR, Omar smiles again because he will be able to travel to Finland to continue with his treatment.

“My family and I will be leaving, so I get treatment” –Omar says.

For parents of Omar, this lack of treatment is what most affects them, it killed and destroyed them. It sets them back years and lose all the things they had gotten.

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“And you know how children hit me now? First, I will grow up. Second, when I am big, I will defend myself” – Omar explains to UNHCR people.

UNHCR has explained all the story of Omar and his family in two videos. You can see the videos in the following links:

With examples like Omar, you can see that the impact of your donations is awesome. For this reason, we encourage you to continue making your donations every time you make a purchase online as there are many people who still need your help to improve their situation.

The Worldcoo team.

 

Help against the cold and the rain, refugee’s new enemy

According to UNHCR dates, so far this year, more than 643.000 refugees have arrived in Europe by sea. To this day, we have to add the cold and rain to the danger of crossing the Mediterranean.

In these times the cold arrive, the night are chilly and in many areas in Europe there are abundant rains. These circumstances not only affected to the refugees that try to cross the Mediterranean, it also affects to refugees that try to cross borders (as the borders of Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Serbia, Slovenia or Croatia) and people who are still in Syria. Unfortunately, most of them have not a place to shelter from the cold and rain.

UNHCR alert that despite the bad weather, the arriving of refugees will increase because of the fear about new borders closures and because dealers are offering discounts to travel despite the weather.

Against this background, UNHCR knows that refugees will need help against the cold and the rain. For that reason, they are beginning to provide raincoats, blankets and other relief items to refugees buffeted by the first winter storms that have already struck many parts of Central and South Eastern Europe, along with freezing temperatures. These packages will be distributed up to February 2016.

Help from the cold and the rain

There are many ways to give help to refugees and today we are explaining some of them:

The Syrian People Support Association has created a Facebook group called “La Manta de la vida” or “The blanket of life” with the aim to gather blankets that it will be sending to Syria before the arriving of the winter. To the date, the association has collected about 3.500 blankets from knitters throughout Spain. Every blanket have a label with the following message “We are with you”.

Banc de Sabadell has joined with Worldcoo to help Syrian refugees. If you are a customer or you work there, you have the option to make a donation and collaborate with UNHCR in the help to refugees crossing the Mediterranean.

In the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid have made a request that promotes the need to eliminate the visas from people who come from countries in conflict. Thanks to do it, they will be able to travel in a quickly and safe way through the European Union.

The Hospitalet de Llobregat City Council (Barcelona) has created a record for persons and entities can collaborate in assisting refugees from Syria and other conflicts.

Together we may help to improve the refugee situation. There are many ways to do that and all the refugees really need your help now more than ever as their situation is worse because of the cold and the rain.

The Worldcoo team.

Emergency relief for the refugee crisis

Countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea are living in a situation of constant conflict and destruction. Many people living in these countries are running away and they are taking a risk in the long and risky sea voyages because they can lose their life.

In the first half of 2015, more boats have come to Europe than in the entire 2014. It is estimated that at the end of 2015, the number of refugees and migrants that will make the voyage for the Mediterranean Sea to Europe will arrive to 400.000 people. At the present, the number of refugees and migrants exceeds the 322.500 people.

The Mediterranean Sea is known as the deadliest border in the world because of thousands of desperate immigrants and refugees drown in boats that try to arrive to Europe from Africa and Middle East. Throughout 2015, about 2750 people have lost their life during their trip to Europe and as this emergency situation progresses, people arriving alive are facing an increasingly difficult reception.

All the European countries that welcome refugees are overwhelmed. For example, in Greece 205.000 refugees have landed, the 65% of these refugees came from Syria. The worst thing is that the number of children that have lost a family members and end up alone has increased.

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ACNUR is training European governments to take care and treat all the refugees crossing the Mediterranean. Also, ACNUR is deploying 900 shelters in Greece, Macedonia and Hungary to help the refugees and the governments.

ACNUR focus their effort in realize different activities for help Mediterranean refugees:

  • They are improving rescue services in order to manage the needs of housing, food, water and basic support of refugees arriving in Europe.
  • Other activity that they are realizing is offer their specialized staff to develop more quickly and correctly the refugee registration and guarantee that they will be able recognized, protected by law and have access to doctors.
  • Their staff is also helping to governments to identify if some refugees need specific help, for example, help children traveling alone.
  • Provide direct emergency humanitarian assistance, for example, providing hygiene kids, sleeping bags, food or water.

The fourth banking group in Spain, Banc Sabadell, with more than 2.000 bank offices and 6 million of banking customers, will help ACNUR to support and advice to the Government and local Greek authorities at front line reception for newly-arrived people seeking international protection on their rights and obligations and to provide direct support to refugees. In order to help in the refugee crisis, Banc de Sabadell will offer to their customers and their workers the possibility to make a donation for this cause.

Thanks to the customers and employees of Banc de Sabadell, 460 emergency rescue kits will be distributed, each kit has a cost of 25 euros. Also, a reception center, where thousands of asylum seekers can receive vital medical care, will be installed. It costs around 8,500 euros.

In this project, the funds raised will be designated to Greece because it is the country that has received more refugees in the last months.

The Worldcoo team.

Help Syrian refugees

To date, and after all the news arriving through the television, newspapers and social media, nobody will be surprised when we say that we are living one of the worst refugee crisis of this century.

Since the conflict between army of Bashar al-Assad and the rebels began in March 2011, according to a BBC article, more than 4.000.000 people have escaped from Syria to neighboring countries searching a decent life.

We are clearly facing a migration crisis that transcends borders, thousands of people crossing the countries with complicated and dangerous conditions. In the first half of this year, approximately 160.000 people arrived from different countries through the Mediterranean, an 83% higher than a year ago. The worst thing of this numbers is that all these people, more than 6.400 are children and half these children were unaccompanied by family, they were alone.

Aldeas Infantiles SOS are available to help Syrian refugees in different points of their way and put at service of these families and children unattended all of their attention. Internationally, the organization is being coordinated with a joint action and, in every recipient country, they are working with the relevant authorities and other social entities for giving an effective response. Moreover, in the home countries, like Syria, Aldeas Infantiles SOS maintains all of their programs trying to normalize children’s daily life, as far as possible, in a country in conflict, ensuring their protection, nutrition, health, education and games.

Children are supposed have to smile all the time, no have pain or misery. All of our team are working hard to obtain this important aim, for that, we collaborate with the nutritional supplement for the children.”- Loubana Al Jadaly, Aldeas Infantiles worker

Help Syrian refugees

 

Nicequest, after to help children to have access to a quality education, wants to collaborate with Aldeas Infantiles SOS in order to 500 refugees, specially unaccompanied children, young mothers, mothers with children (especially malnourished children under 5 years) and pregnant women will receive an emergency kit with alimentation and sanitation products and specific material to tackle their urgent needs.

Futhermore, Aldeas Infantiles SOS will provide adequate care and assistance, medical and psycho-social support to children and families, useful information for their travel and they will distribute emergency kits with food and sanitation packages, raincoats, blankets and basic hygiene items based on refugees needs.

The Syrian conflict not have a solution in sight and the attempts for achieve a political solution have failed. For this reason, any outside help is very important for all of these people fighting for a better life.

The Worldcoo team.

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