The Refugee Support Express – 1 February 2018
Welcome to the Refugee Support Express
Breaking in Bangladesh
The first month of 2018 has drawn to a close, but the hard work has only just begun. Dark times remain ahead, and it’s time to buckle down and batten down the hatches for the rest of the year to come.
In Bangladesh, there have been talks of timetabling the return of Rohingya people to Myanmar. Such discussion is causing anxiety for a number of reasons, as many fear at present for the wellbeing of the Rohingya if these talks develop in to actions.
In her guest blog this week, Lizzy Galliver discussed the lack of international political will from superpowers such as the US and regional actors such as Malaysia – who are yet to fully engage in aiding this great humanitarian crisis. Bangladesh is beginning to feel the strain of the Rohingya exodus; and while pressuring a political resolution to the root causes of Rohingya persecution is crucial, the immediate global responsibility lies in aid-work.
We will not shy away from our global responsibility and we will continue to do all that we can to aid refugees in and around Tumbru camp with dignity and co-operation. Will you stand with us by donating to the cause now?
Farewell, Filippiada & LM Village
As the cliché goes, when one door closes, another one opens. But as the less well-known cliché goes, when one door opens, another one must often be closed.
However, this needn’t be a cause for sadness; and as we wave farewell to Filippiada and LM Village after 15 and nine months, we reflect on the aid and dignity that our fabulous volunteers and donors have worked hard to provide during our time at these camps.
In Filippiada, we took a disheveled warehouse and created rooms and spaces. We then developed our dignified mini-market and boutique model. In May, we built a playground for the children, and ran camp activities to boost morale and allow children to have a childhood.
In LM Village, we set up an in-camp mini-market. The shop continues to stock nutritious foods to the camp’s families on their doorstep. We also set up the camp’s first clothes boutique, and hired a weekly coach to transport 50 residents to the local market in order to stock up on valuable goods and supplies.
Residents: 300, 60% under 16
Distributed: £60,000 food, approx 15,000 items of clothing
Figures: LM Village
Residents: 200, 50% under 16
Distributed: £30,000 food since April, approx. 2,000 items of clothing
We have made the decision to say goodbye to these two camps in order to focus our attentions on the new Katsikas camp. We leave the camps with systems in place which will enable them to continue providing vital aid to refugees, and we look forward now to implementing these systems in the new camp.
As always, we strive to assist those with the most urgent needs; even if this means making tough decisions sometimes. We are hopeful for the future of the new camps, and the ones that we are leaving behind.
Did you volunteer at Filippiada or LM Village? Let us know what you enjoyed about your time there.
Kids of Katsikas
This week, we’ve been transported from the Katsikas boutique to the runways of London, as our residents select and don some great new outfits, including new sports kits supplied by Second Tree.
Earlier on in January, Refugee Support volunteers faced a tough challenge as our co-founder, Paul Hutchings, put us to the task of voting for the cutest photo / outfit spotted on the camps. It was indeed a tough decision, as the camps have nurtured some adorable young fashionistas over the years – however, the votes are in, and we think we have a winner! (scroll down!)
Don’t you just love the little moses basket from Carry the Future?
Thanks everyone for sharing your photos – they were all winners, and it’s lovely to see so many smiley faces.
There’s a lot of hard work to do, but there’s also a lot of fun to be had. We are currently recruiting for volunteers to join the Katsikas Krew. Join us today!
Standing with refugees podcast
For this week’s podcast, Paul spoke to Tasha Freidus, the founder and creator of NeedsList. We’ve been working with Tasha for about a year now, and Tasha has been a big supporter of our work during this time.
NeedsList in as online marketplace that unites humanitarian organisations with donors – listing what organisations need so that donors who want to help can donate to urgent, real-time causes. It’s a great and transparent way of showing donors who they are helping, and what their donation is being used for. So far, it has met over 30,000 needs in 10 countries!
Displaced people have urgent needs which can change quickly. Small organisations such as ourselves often lack the resources to satisfy needs immediately; relying on donations of physical items such as clothes and shoes to offer aid. Unfortunately, however, the time it takes for donations to reach their destination can often result in a influx of items that are no longer urgently needed by the time they arrive.
NeedsList is a fantastic platform, because not only does it satisfy physical needs, but it also accepts monetary donations which are often the most effective in crisis. Thanks for talking with us, Tasha, and keep up the great work.
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Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you next time.
Please contact us today at [email protected] if you are interested in volunteering, making a donation, or just want to get in touch.