World Refugee Day: “We know what they have been through and want to help”

By CARE Australia June 6, 2017 0 comments

The volunteers are establishing their own shelter for vulnerable women in Athens. With cash assistance from CARE they will be able to pay rent and water bills. From right to Left: Lynne, Mohsen, Nour, Amani, Houssam, Daniela, Ali, Bashar. Image © Vangi/CARE

Every minute, 24 people somewhere in the world are forced to flee their homes. The number of displaced people in the world right now – 65.3 million – is getting scarily close to one per cent of the world’s population.

It’s frightening to consider the suffering that must cause a person to leave their homeland to start over in a new country. And it’s sad to consider that often, when they arrive, they are not welcomed.

In Greece, where more than 62,000 refugees are living without healthy food, access to toilets or shelter, CARE distributes cash assistance to help people get back on their feet.

When one group of refugees living in Athens received their cash assistance, rather than thinking of their own needs, they pooled their funds to pay for a safe space for single women and mothers with children, and distributed homemade and traditional food to those in need.

One of the team members, Houssam (25), explained the main idea behind this project: “We know what they have been through and want to help.

“We are a community here, we share everything. With the cash support we have received from CARE, we can pay the electricity and water bills for the shelter.”

Houssam was studying law back in Syria but the outbreak of war meant he couldn’t complete his degree. He has applied for refugee status in another country where he plans to move and get his life back on track – but his heart belongs to what his team is doing in Greece. “If my application is accepted and I am to leave for another European country, as soon as I can I will come back here to make sure what we started is well and functioning.”

To all of our supporters who have donated to our Global Emergency Fund or our Syrian Crisis Appeal, we say an enormous thanks. Your donations are enabling people like Houssam and his team to do so much good for so many in need.

World Refugee Day on 20 June is a chance to remind ourselves and others that there is something we can do. If you spent a minute reading this story, another 24 people have just been forced from their homes and need your help.

Please do what you can and donate to CARE’s Global Emergency Fund.

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