Humanitarian

A Refugee Magazine Special Edition: 16 Days of Activism Against GBV

On the 25th of November, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence launched worldwide. Across the globe, there have been numerous acts from millions of people symbolizing their support for this essential cause. The Refugee Magazine is honoring the 16 Days of Activism with this special edition dedicated to the issue of early marriage. 

if levels of child marriages continued at the current rate, 39,000 girls under the age of 18 will be married daily in the coming years - that’s 14.2 million girls a year.
— UNICEF statement released 2013

All these children face serious danger to their physical and mental health as a result of being married at a young age than if they married later in life: girls under 15 are five times more likely to die during childbirth; child brides are at a higher level of risk of contracting HIV from their older husbands, and young girls under 18 are more likely to experience domestic violence. 

Containing interviews with victims and survivors of early marriage and GBV and those dedicated to ending it, this edition is a powerful collection of personal stories, facts, and figures that hope to continue the movement to end early marriage and Gender Based Violence worldwide.

To read the full edition of The Refugee Magazine, 16 Days of Activism Special, please click here.


The Refugee Magazine is now in its fifth year, and continues to entertain, inform, and give a voice to those living in the camps. If you'd like to read more then follow our Refugee Magazine Blog Series on our Stories page. 

And as always, if you'd like to support FilmAid's training and empowerment of local writers, filmmakers, producers and actors, you can donate here.

FilmAid and Every Mother Counts at The Bulgari

Porter Magazine 2014

Porter Magazine 2014

It is fundamental to work together to save each and every woman.

Statistics show that one woman dies every two minutes from complications during pregnancy and birth. This is why FilmAid was honored to join Christy Turlington Burns for Porter Magazine's event with Every Mother Counts at The Bulgari, to raise awareness of the vital need for the continued progress and preservation of maternal health. 

Driven by her own experience of pregnancy and giving birth, Christy founded Every Mother Counts with the aim of providing every mother with the same level of information and healthcare she had received when she needed it most. 

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A touching speech was given on behalf of FilmAid by FilmAid’s UK Chair, Sian Sutherland, and FilmAid’s Country Director for Kenya, Stella Suge. 

Emphasizing the common ground shared by the two organizations, Sian discussed Every Mother Counts and FilmAid’s important contributions to safeguarding women’s health and dignity by the provision of information and the giving of hope, life skills, and voices.

 

Stella spoke of her first-hand experience working on a FilmAid maternal health program based in two of the largest refugee camps in the world, Kakuma and Dadaab in Kenya. With over half a million people living as refugees in Kenya, and over half of these people being women, maternal health necessitates urgent action. Stella expressed that she had seen women die as a result of absence of knowledge and information, a situation that was complicated further by cultural issues relating to how women receive professional hospital treatment. In light of these experiences, FilmAid devised a program that included creating an informative film made by and for refugees. The film focussed on informing viewers of the critical need and benefits of maternal health, thus contributing to the ongoing welfare of mothers and thier children. 

 

World Humanitarian Day 2014

World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity to help others. As numbers of refugees increase, forcibly displaced people are in need of urgent humanitarian aid. Today, the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people has exceeded 50 million people.

In recognizing World Humanitarian Day, FilmAid wish to honor our Outreach Facilitators who work tirelessly to ensure FilmAid’s media content and information reaches as many individuals as possible. Performing challenging work in circumstances and in environments that many are unable or unwilling to enter, they are undoubtedly our Humanitarian Heroes.  

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Bithou, who was featured in our film 'Take The Time', is 27 and originally from South Sudan. He currently lives in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya. He has been a refugee for 12 years, since leaving behind the conflict in his hometown of Juba, South Sudan's capital. Bithou has been a FilmAid Outreach Facilitator since 2010. He plays a crucial role in assuring that everyone has equal access to important information through our film screenings and workshops. 

Our Facilitators use media and film to support new arrivals in the registration process at the camp, they help them to understand their rights as refugees, and inform them how to access key services throughout their stay.

"My goal for the future is that I should play a key role or do something makes a difference in other people's lives" Bithou tells us. Bithou, and all of FilmAid's Outreach Facilitators, are incredible examples of Humanitarian Heroes. Our Outreach Facilitators are usually refugees themselves. They have escaped conflict and experienced substantial personal tragedy, but are committed to helping others. They refuse to be seen as victims. Instead, they make it their mission to support, assist and help those who are in need.

No humanitarian effort can succeed without the commitment of those individuals who work in the field every day. It is for this reason that we are celebrating our Outreach Facilitators as Humanitarian Heroes today. Please join us by sharing your appreciation for FilmAid's #HumanitarianHeroes onTwitter and Facebook

Stay tuned for more from Bithou. We'll be sharing a film dedicated to him and his story in the next couple of weeks.

New UN report shows record 800,000 people became refugees in 2011

This entry is reposted from the UN news center. Photo:UNHCR/B.Bannon

UNHCR set up the first camps in the Dadaab complex in 1991 to host up to 90,000 people. Today they host more than 463,000 refugees.

18 June 2012 – Ahead of World Refugee Day, the United Nations refugee agency reported today that a record 800,000 people were forced to flee across borders last year, more than at any time since 2000.

The new refugees are part of a total of 4.3 million people who were newly displaced last year, owing to a string of major humanitarian crises that began in late 2010 in Côte d'Ivoire, and followed by others in Libya, Somalia, Sudan and elsewhere, according to Global Trends 2011, issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“2011 saw suffering on an epic scale. For so many lives to have been thrown into turmoil over so short a space of time means enormous personal cost for all who were affected,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, in a news release.

“We can be grateful only that the international system for protecting such people held firm for the most part and that borders stayed open. These are testing times,” he added.

Some 42.5 million people ended 2011 either as refugees (15.2 million), internally displaced (26.4 million) or in the process of seeking asylum (895,000), according to the report, which is UNHCR’s main publication on the state of forced displacement.

At the same time, 2011 saw some 3.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) return home – the highest rate of returns of IDPs in more than a decade.

Among the “worrying” trends noted in the report, UNHCR said that forced displacement is affecting larger numbers of people globally, with the annual level exceeding 42 million people for each of the last five years.

Another is that a person who becomes a refugee is likely to remain as one for many years – often stuck in a camp or living precariously in an urban location. Of the 10.4 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate, almost three quarters (7.1 million) have been in exile for at least five years while awaiting a solution.

Overall, Afghanistan remains the biggest producer of refugees (2.7 million), followed by Iraq (1.4 million), Somalia (1.1 million), Sudan (500,000) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (491,000).

Among industrialized countries, Germany ranks as the largest hosting country with 571,700 refugees. South Africa, meanwhile, was the largest recipient of individual asylum applications (107,000), a status it has held for the past four years.

While UNHCR’s original mandate was to help refugees, its work over the past six decades has grown to include helping many of the world’s IDPs and those who are stateless – those lacking recognized citizenship and the human rights that accompany this.

The report notes that only 64 governments provided data on stateless people, meaning that UNHCR was able to capture numbers for only around a quarter of the estimated 12 million stateless people worldwide.

World Refugee Day falls on Wednesday, 20 June. The theme for this year’s observance is “Refugees have no choice. You do.” and focuses on the tough choices facing refugees, helping the public to empathize with, and understand, their dilemma.