Every minute, eight people around the world are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. Today there are 43 million people who are displaced. As U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says, "No one should have to endure this humiliating and arduous ordeal. Yet, millions do. Even one refugee forced to flee, one refugee forced to return to danger is one too many."
On June 20, you can impact the lives of refugees around the world by taking one of these five actions. A few moments of your time will make a big difference.
(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Fight the Food Crisis in the Sahel
Right now 18 million people are in the midst of a food crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa. This region is among the poorest in the world and has been experiencing dramatically low rainfall, forcing families to cut back their food intake. Women and children are especially vulnerable at this time. CARE, a leading humanitarian aid organization, is on the ground in Chad, Mali and Niger, where 13.5 million people are affected by this crisis and almost two million are at risk of malnutrition.
Since 2003, more than three million people in Darfur have been forced to flee their homes because of ongoing conflict in Sudan. Currently there are almost 300,000 refugees in eastern Chad. In an effort to provide a quality primary education for these refugees, the Darfur Dream Team Sister School Program is asking middle schools, high schools, and universities to come together and support education at schools in the 12 Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad.
This summer, the Darfur Dream Team is encouraging students, teachers, and community members to participate in a Summer Service Challenge, a fun online opportunity to raise awareness and take actions in support of refugees. The challenges range from hosting a documentary screening, to raising funds for education, to volunteering in your own community. The Challenge kicks off on World Refugee Day and continues through July 31.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a leading relief organization that focuses on resettling and protecting refugees who have been forced from their homeland because of political oppression and violence. For these refugees, returning home is not an option. On World Refugee Day, the IRC is urging you to tell Congress to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers have a place where they can be safe within our borders. Sign this petition and insist that members of Congress support robust programs that help refugees rebuild their lives in the United States.
Militant groups and rebel factions are battling for control in northern Mali. The fighting has pushed 320,000 people from their homes, and forced 70,000 to Mauritanian refugee camps. Drought in the Sahel Region has left these people struggling for hope without crops or food. When the rains do come, the lack of paved roads will make it so muddy that it will take two months to deliver food to these refugees. Between moving to camps and the drought, many children are malnourished and sick. Watch this eye-opening video to learn more and make a donation to help the World Food Programme feed children in the Sahel today.
Every day in the Congo, 1,152 women are raped. Millions of women in crisis zones around the world are confronting daily threats to their safety, health and dignity. You can help by taking the International Rescue Committee pledge to stand with women and girls. Take the pledge today and spread the word about the challenges they face, the potential they hold, and the simple solutions that help them survive and thrive.