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Oxfam report: The power of education to fight inequality

school in santa cruz nicaragua
School in Santa Cruz, Nicaragua. Photo: William Vest-Lillesø

Inequality is reaching new extremes. Significant increases in inequality of both income and wealth are leading to larger gaps between rich and poor, men and women.

This is creating serious obstacles to overcoming poverty and exclusion, and stopping us from beating poverty. With women substantially over-represented in the ranks of the poorest, this is also reinforcing gender inequality, blocking progress on women’s rights. These inequalities threaten to pull our societies apart, and unravel the social contract between state and citizen, by undermining social cohesion and eroding democratic institutions.

But inequality is not inevitable. It is a political choice. It is the result of deliberate policy choices made by governments and international organizations. Conversely, it is now broadly agreed by most global policy makers that extreme inequality is also avoidable, and that concrete steps can be taken to reduce inequality.

Good-quality education can be liberating for individuals, and it can act as a leveller and equalizer within society. This report will show the unparalleled power of education to level the playing field, to help close the growing divides, and bring us closer together.

Find the report and the summary at Oxfam.org

Bangladesh: Transformative tailoring for Rohingya women

Elderly lady smiles
Credit: Caroline Leal/Oxfam

Gender dynamics in the largest refugee settlement in the world

“You have come to this country as a guest,” Shompa, 60 years old, says to Caroline Leal from Oxfam as she sits in Shompa’s shelter in Camp 22 in the Unchiprang camp in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh. “Well, so have I. And, just like you, I want to return home.”

It’s been two years since over 700,000 Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar, fled their home to Bangladesh. Their exodus to seek safety began on August 25, 2017 after violence broke out in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

Bangladesh is now the host of the largest refugee settlement in the world. More than half the Rohingya refugees are women, and 60 percent of the female population are under 18 years of age.

Although Shompa is safe from the violence she was subjected to in Myanmar, she and thousands of Rohingya women still continue to face huge challenges in the refugee settlements. Gender dynamics, trauma endured in Myanmar and pre-existing cultural and social norms are proving to be major factors for women to overcome.

“When fleeing our home, it was too dangerous to grab any belongings. We had no choice but to escape to Bangladesh with only the clothes on our back,” Shompa said.

This is particularly problematic for Rohingya women in the camp as the community’s traditional practice of purdah, which is the screening of women from men or strangers, is still observed. The lack of proper clothing has greatly affected the ability of Rohingya refugee women to move freely around the camps.

Back in Rakhine, women did not need a burqa to access latrines and water points, as these were close to their homes and they lived with their relatives. But the reality in Camp 22 is different.

“When I needed to go outdoors, I had to see if there were any men around,” Shompa said. “Because of this [lack of proper clothing], I often couldn’t go outside.”

Working directly with Rohingya women and members of the host community in the district of Cox’s Bazar, Oxfam decided to help address this challenge. Through Oxfam’s protection and sustainable livelihoods program, a project was designed which involves the distribution of nine different fabrics along with tailoring vouchers. These vouchers can be used at local shops in the host community, and mean that Rohingya women are able to have garments that are culturally appropriate.

A common thread

Refugee man tailors clothes
Credit: Caroline Leal/Oxfam

A short drive away from Camp 22, the small town of Chakmaara is filled with shops and tuk-tuks. On the second floor of the plaza, Noor Mohammed, a local tailor, fills out orders inside his brightly painted shop. Fabric, buttons and thread fill every corner.

“On my own, I couldn’t complete all of the orders! I had six tailors working but had to hire five more,” Mohammed said.

Mohammed is one of the local vendors participating in Oxfam’s tailoring voucher program.

The impact of the Rohingya refugee camps on a host community that is already one of the poorest in Bangladesh is undeniable.

“Since the construction of the camps, the cost of daily life and goods has risen significantly,” says Mohammed. “One kilogram of potatoes usually cost six Taka (approximately $0.10 CAD). Today, it’s around 22 Taka.”

Cost increases are also affecting businesses. Before the influx, business owners like Mohammed averaged a monthly profit of 5000 Taka (approximately $77 CAD). That average has been cut by more than half, hovering around 2000 Taka.

Since the launch of the tailoring voucher program, Mohammed’s business has prospered. In the past three months alone, he and his team have made 1,400 garments.

“Thanks to this program, my business has greatly flourished,” he says.

Hand shows clothing
Credit: Caroline Leal/Oxfam

A humanitarian response working for women

A couple of shelters down from Shompa’s, Ayesha, 18, lives after fleeing the violence of Myanmar with her husband, their young son, and her parents. Her husband lives 50 kilometres away in the Balukhali camp, working at the mosque.

Life is difficult for a single woman in the camp. Ayesha collects firewood and heavy buckets of water from a nearby water point twice daily. She has participated in Oxfam’s tailoring voucher program

“For me, it’s a matter of safety,” she says. “I feel heard.”

Ayesha isn’t alone in her sentiment. According to a recent survey done on the Rohingya response by Oxfam, 95 percent of women feel safer and more comfortable going outside their home thanks to the tailoring voucher program.

Designing programs for women, with women, is putting power back in their hands in times of crisis. Listening to what Shompa and Ayesha want is the way to ensure humanitarian responses work for women.

Oxfam bag with tailored clothes
Credit: Caroline Leal/Oxfam

Ring the alarm

Oxfam’s tailoring program is helping women like Shompa and Ayesha, but it won’t fix the problems that forced them to flee to Bangladesh in the first place.

The ongoing violence and persecution against Rohingya people in their home country, Myanmar, must be stopped. Two years after the crisis made international headlines, Rohingya people in Myanmar still don’t have basic rights - including freedom of movement, access to citizenship, healthcare and education.   Ultimately the Rohingya people need an end to their persecution. They need durable solutions. They need a future, now.

This is why, alongside the humanitarian assistance Oxfam is providing on the ground, Oxfam is calling on Myanmar authorities to end the violence and ensure that Rohingya people in Myanmar can enjoy their rights.

Because, ultimately, what is it that Shompa wants?

“Justice,” she declares. “All I want is to go back home with recognition and justice.”

Philippines: Too young to marry

MARAWI CITY, Philippines – It was long past midnight, and Fatima* was awake. She had been awake 10 nights. She lay on a mattress on the floor of a rickety wooden shack in the village of Olawa Ambulong in Marawi City, listening to the breathing of the man beside her.

Outside, the occasional tricycle rattled down the muddy alley. Inside, Fatima watched the rise and fall of the man’s chest. She had braced herself up for what could happen when he opened his eyes. She was ready, every time, to slap away the hand that reached across the pillow she had shoved between them.

There were nights when she would drift off to sleep, and wake up with a start, terrified. On those nights, she would rise quietly, her steps light as she made her way to the small kitchen for coffee, the scalding liquid burning down her throat. Most nights she stared up at the ceiling. She would wait bleary-eyed until morning, when he stood and dressed for work. Safe, she would think, safe for one more day.

On the 11th night, when the man across the pillow reached over to touch her, Fatima was asleep. He was inside her before she could protest. She never said a word. She closed her eyes and prayed, until he pulled on his clothes again, rolled over, and fell asleep. Fatima lay awake, weeping quietly, beside the man she now called her husband. She was 14 years old.

Young girl up close
Photos and editorial courtesy of Rappler, as originally published on Rappler.com

A futile fight

Anywhere else in the Philippines, young people like Fatima are permitted by the Family Code to marry only after reaching the age of 18. Muslim minors are an exception. Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1083, or the Code of Muslim Personal Laws, allows Filipino Muslim males the right to marry at the age of 15. Muslim females, provided they have begun menstruating, are allowed to marry as young as 12, provided there is permission from their male guardian, or wali.

There are many reasons these marriages occur at an early age. Some girls are married off because their elders hope to ease the financial burden of their upbringing. Others marry to protect their honor, as any suspicion of premarital sex brings shame to families.

According to an Oxfam International survey on child marriage conducted in 2016, 51% of respondents in Lanao del Sur, where Fatima lives, had gone through arranged marriages, compared to 22% in the nearby province of Maguindanao. Only 14% of females in Lanao del Sur said they gave their full consent to the marriage, while the figure is much higher for men at 89%.

The situation was further compounded by fighting in Marawi, Lanao del Sur’s capital, a year after the study was conducted. The once-prosperous capital was left in shambles after 5 months of clashes between homegrown terrorists and government troops. While no numbers are available, displaced residents and local non-governmental organization (NGO) workers say poverty and uncertainty in the aftermath of the siege led to an increase in early marriages among the Maranao youth.

The wedding

Fatima discovered she was to be married three days into 2019. The war had been over for more than a year. She and her family had been allowed to return to Olawa Ambulong, a Marawi village spared from the violence that had ravaged large swathes of the city. It was the same home Fatima had lived in since she was orphaned just after her birth.

Isha*, Fatima’s aunt, had raised Fatima since her parents’ early death. Fatima was one of many: 4 of the children she called siblings were Isha’s own, while 7 others, like Fatima, were adopted. She called Isha ommi, or mother.

Fatima woke up early on January 3. The sun was up, but it was dark inside the two-story shanty where she lived. Her small siblings were piling their folded mattresses into a corner of the loft. Fatima ate breakfast and played with the children as Isha looked on. Their laughter rang through the house, until Fatima saw her grandmother striding up the muddy path leading to their front door.

Fatima stood to greet her. There were few pleasantries before the elderly woman spoke directly to Fatima. The words were a shock to the young girl.

“I was told to get ready because I was getting married,” Fatima said.

She was told her prospective husband was 8 years her senior. His name was Omar*, a 22-year-old distant cousin whom Fatima had never met. Omar’s father had been searching for a bride for his son. He had arrived earlier that morning to seal the marriage. The details had been decided between Fatima’s wali, her uncle, and Omar’s family.

The wedding was scheduled for later in the day.

“I didn’t want to get married yet,” Fatima said, her voice cracking. But she said nothing on the day she was told. She was too afraid to disobey her grandmother.

The matriarch explained the marriage was a way to help ease the burden on the shoulders of Fatima’s mother. Isha had been widowed 6 years before. Her sari-sari store had been destroyed in the siege, and much of their living came from the vegetable garden Isha tended in the backyard.

It was only after her grandmother left that Fatima told Isha she was afraid. Isha consoled the young girl, then stepped out of their home to follow Fatima's grandmother. Throughout the day, Isha bargained – with Fatima’s grandmother, with Fatima’s wali, with Omar’s parents, with anyone who would speak to her.

Please, she said, stop the wedding. They told her no.

Please, she asked, could they postpone the ceremony a few days? She would like time to buy Fatima a gown. They told her no.

Please, she asked, conceding, could Fatima and her new husband live in Isha’s home after the wedding? Could her daughter still come home?

Yes, they told her.

There was a reason Isha stood up for the girl she called her daughter. Isha herself was married young, forced by her own family to bind herself to another stranger at the age of 13.

“Deep in my heart then,” Isha said, “I kept on asking myself, what will happen to my daughter? Will married life be hard for her? Will her husband or in-laws quarrel with her? Because she had no idea what would happen then.”

The vagaries of consent

“Mutual consent of the parties freely given” is among the “essential requisites” of a Muslim marriage mandated by PD 1083. This means a minor Muslim female must give permission before her wali approves of any marriage.

Muslim scholars – like Anwar Radiamoda, director of the King Faisal Center for Islamic and Asian Studies in the Mindanao State University, and Macrina Morados, dean of the University of the Philippines-Diliman Institue of Islamic Studies (UP-IIS) – say no wedding should take place if the minor says no.

“The female has to be consulted first. If she really doesn’t want to get married, then it’s not allowed by Islam. Forced marriages in Islam is prohibited,” said Radiamoda.

But PD 1083 is not explicit about how consent is given prior to the wedding ceremony. Fatima did not oppose her family’s decision. And so Fatima’s silence – like the silence of many other child brides like her – was read as consent to the marriage.

“They are reared to be modest,” said Morados of UP-IIS. “They are reared to have modesty in public. If you want to accept the marriage, you wouldn’t say yes out loud. It would be a negative to you.”

Morados believes that a number of child marriage practices are rooted in culture, and do not always adhere to Islamic teachings. Fear and respect of their elders, whose decisions are treated like law, stifle Muslim girls and women.

Treating silence as consent to marriage is based on what Morados called a cultural context of shame among Muslim women. A Muslim woman who agrees to a marriage offer traditionally stays silent, in an attempt to mask her eagerness. A Muslim woman who is against a marriage offer can, and should say no. But the reality shows otherwise.

Yet coercion, intimidation, and physical abuse, said Morados, are not sanctioned by Islam. “We really need education,” she said. “Even PD 1083 is not popular. If you go to the province, most of the people, they haven’t heard about the provision on marriage, about the essential requisites.”

There are pending bills in the 18th Congress that seek to declare as “public crimes” the facilitation and solemnization of child marriages. If passed into law, the measure would repeal the exemption that PD 1083 grants to Filipino Muslims to marry below the age of 18. It would also punish those who facilitate early marriages.

But imposing these punishments may not be so simple. PD 1083, authorizing the wali to arrange a marriage on behalf of the women, was guided by the provisions of the Quran and the prophetic tradition.

Morados said that while UP-IIS and the Anak Mindanao party-list group are advocating to raise the Muslim marrying age to 18, any amendments to PD 1083 must come from the community. Their consultations take into account the crucial role that ulama or Muslim religious leaders play in the process.

“We cannot criminalize those parents who opted to marry their children at a younger age,” Morados said. “Because in Islam, you cannot say this is haram or this is prohibited when the Quran allows it.”

Shariah law, said Morados, asks parents to consider the best interests of their children when considering a marriage proposal. It is this that can permit the raising of the marrying age.

Radiamoda also cited the Islamic principle of building a righteous family. “One of the Prophet Muhammad’s statements is, ‘Teach your family before marriage,’” he said. “That means you have to study first. Prepare for your marriage first – emotionally, financially, and economically. This is what Islam says: You have to teach first yourselves before you marry.”

Smiling for the camera

On the day of her wedding, Fatima sat quietly as her cousins dabbed powder on her cheeks. They brushed shadow over her eyes and lined them with care, in an attempt to mask the swollen lids. They dressed her in an abaya – the loose, robe-like dress traditionally worn by Islamic women. This one was special, a gift from her new father-in-law. It was black with a strip of black sequins at the hem. Her hair was covered with a pale pink hijab and secured by a golden brooch pinned just below her cheek.

The wedding was to be held in her uncle’s home, just a short walk away from where Fatima lived with Isha. Her uncle’s house saw a flurry of activity, as Fatima’s relatives rearranged the furniture to make way for the wedding ceremony. Pots and pots of food were being prepared. Isha refused to leave her own home. She could not stop the wedding, but she would not be a witness to it.

Fatima stepped into her uncle’s home. She saw her groom for the first time and saw Omar wearing a white sherwani and turban. She became his wife on the same day they met.

Fatima is shy around strangers, and timid even in the company of her friends. Her hands fidgeted, her eyes darted from Isha to the floor and back. She let her mother speak for her. When she did speak, her voice was faint, almost apologetic.

“I said I didn’t want it to happen,” said Fatima. “But I had no choice.”

Isha kept two photos of the wedding. In one, Fatima and Omar stood side by side, both of them smiling, surrounded by cousins dressed in their wedding finery. In the other picture, Fatima and Omar sat on monobloc chairs. Omar’s right hand was draped around Fatima’s shoulders. She was still smiling.

“There were so many thoughts running through my head then,” Fatima said. “Of course I was scared.”

The debate

The United Nations Children's Fund, or Unicef, puts at 650 million the number of women and girls alive today who were wed before their 18th birthday. In the Philippines, 2018 data from the UN counts about 15% of women aged 20 to 24 years old, who were first married or entered a union, before they turned 18.

Those campaigning to end child marriage argue that regardless of culture, the practice robs young girls – and even boys – of their freedom to choose whom to marry at a time when they are not physically, emotionally, psychologically, and financially ready to make such a decision.

In 2016, Muslim religious leaders and legal experts in Mindanao endorsed a new fatwa – a formal legal opinion – urging marriage only when the necessary conditions of “mind-maturity” and “intellectual-integrity” are met.

They put the appropriate marrying age for males at 20, and females, at 18. The fatwa also said that a virgin woman who has reached the age of puberty with sound mind and integral intellect will not be compelled to marry without her consent.

The same fatwa, however, still interprets the woman’s silence as consent to the marriage. Advocates have gone as far as calling the practice of child marriage a human rights violation.

“At the end of the day, it is up to the communities, the people in the communities, especially the women and girls who have experienced it,” said Patricia Miranda, policy advocacy and communications manager at Oxfam Pilipinas. “They are the biggest champions and the strongest voice in changing the way we view child marriage.”

‘I’m sorry’

Three months after Fatima’s marriage, Isha heard about a week-long debriefing seminar offered by NGO workers to Marawi siege refugees. Isha decided to attend after learning there would be discussions about early and forced marriages.

The seminar was part of the “Creating Spaces to Take Action on Violence against Women and Girls” project. It was launched by Oxfam and its partners like Al-Mujadilah Development Foundation (AMDF), across 6 countries – including the Philippines – in 2016. The goal was to reduce cases of child marriages in 5 years by working with communities where the practice remains prevalent.

Isha remembers watching a video about her rights as a woman. She remembers the colored sheets of paper, where she was asked to jot down her reflections for the day.

“Everything I didn’t know when I was younger, I learned there instead,” said Isha with a smile. “If your child does not want to get married, her parents and relatives should not be forcing her to say yes. I only learned about that during the seminar.”

The Creating Spaces project also held a separate week-long youth camp for children. The lessons included awareness of the self, and effective communication with parents.

AMDF project manager Sitti Nur Mohamad said the lessons have had far-reaching effects. The young have gained the confidence to speak up, while parents have become more open to what their children have to say. One father thanked them, and said he realized he had “sinned against” his wife and children.

“The first thing I will do when I get home,” the father said, “is to hug my wife and to tell I’m sorry.”

Mohamad said she was lucky to marry on her own terms. She met her husband as an adult, while working in the development sector. She knows she is among the privileged.

“In my line of work, some people have already told me, ‘You’re a Muslim, you’re a Maranao, and you’re a woman, and yet this is your advocacy?’ They can’t seem to accept what I’m fighting for,” said Mohamad.

Young mothers

Fatima was 6 months into her marriage when she spoke to us. While the wedding was meant to ease financial burdens, survival was still a struggle, even under Isha’s roof. Omar, a tricycle driver, earned roughly P200 a day, or about US$4. He and Fatima have been forced to rely on assistance from relatives, most of whom live in post-war evacuation centers themselves.

What dowry Omar’s family paid to Fatima’s family went towards financing the wedding and Omar’s tricycle.

“It was hard to be with him at first, because I couldn’t accept I was married to him,” Fatima said, as she sat on a rumpled mattress in the humidity of a late June afternoon.

“We have grown to like each other,” she said.

Fatima has learned to live with Omar. She has learned to like him, perhaps love him. She appreciated the fact that he shared the household chores. She acknowledged he was kind. She was aware, as was Isha, that there may be no returning to school, even as Fatima turned wistful at the thought of becoming a teacher.

It was only when she spoke of her wedding day that Fatima began to cry. She remembered the date. She remembered the many days she fought sleep. Mostly, she remembered the night she failed.

Fatima looked down as she spoke. She ran a hand over her rounded belly. Her touch was gentle.
In 7 months, Fatima will be a mother. The child will be born after she turns 15.

*Names changed and photos edited to protect identities
This story was produced under the Creating Spaces Project, which seeks to end child, early, and forced marriages in the Philippines. The project is being implemented by Oxfam in partnership with Al-Mujadilah Development Foundation, United Youth of the Philippines-Women, Philippine Business for Social Progress, and the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development.

This story was originally published on Rappler.com, written by Mara Cepeda under the editorial supervision: Miriam Grace Go, Chay Hofileña, and Patricia Evangelista. Rappler interns Amiel Asehan, Arie San Pedro, Francis Acosta, Jessica Gaurano, Rommar Javier, Salvee Fontanilla, and Sophia Sibal helped in putting together this story.

West Africa: Extreme inequality in numbers

Disheveled boy carries plates
Northern Ghana has poverty levels two to three times higher than the national average. The region is covered by dry savannah land and lacks key infrastructure such as roads and markets. Credit: Adam Patterson/Oxfam

West Africa has had an impressive economic growth in the past two decades. In 2018, the region was home to six of the top 10 fastest growing economies in Africa: Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin and Niger.

However, for the majority of countries, the benefits of this unprecedented economic growth went to a tiny few. Today, inequality has reached extreme levels in the region. The rich have grown richer while the poor have become even poorer. The region has also the least public health care coverage and the least populations with access to water and decent education.

Let’s look at the numbers

1% Compared to other regions on the continent, West Africa has the greatest number of countries with more than 30 percent of the population living on less than $1.90 (€1.72/£1.48) a day. The top one percent West Africans own more than everyone else combined in the region.

$1.25 Five of Nigeria’s richest men have a combined wealth of US$29.9 billion (€27.1 billion/£23.2 billion) – more than the country’s entire national budget for 2017. However, about 60 percent of its citizens live on less than US$1.25 (€1.13/£0.97) a day, the threshold for absolute poverty.

1 M In Ghana, West Africa’s second biggest economy, one of the richest men earns more in a month than one of the poorest women could earn in 1,000 years. In the decade ending in 2016, the country added 1,000 US dollar millionaires while nearly one million more people were added to the poverty pool.

Girl smiles in mothers arms
West Africa has high rates of child marriage. Niger, Mali and Nigeria are home to the highest number of children married before 18 years in Africa. Credit: Laeïla Adjovi/Oxfam

$9.6 BN West Africa countries lose an estimated $9.6 billion (€8.7 billion/£7.5 billion) each year through corporate tax incentives offered to multinational companies. This would be enough to build about 100 modern and well-equipped hospitals each year in the region.

70% Inequality is also rife in the provision of public services such as education. Women from rich families in Mali are 15 times more likely to have received a secondary education than women from poor families. An estimated 70 percent of the poorest girls in Niger have never attended primary school.

3.5% In Nigeria, women constitute between 60 percent and 79 percent of the rural labour force but they are 10 times less likely to own their own land than men. They represent only 3.5 percent of the population owning farmland in the country. This level of inequality has negative impacts on women, including making them more vulnerable to gender-based violence.

How committed are West African governments to reducing inequality?

While a small but growing group becomes fantastically rich, a clear majority of West Africa’s citizens are denied the most essential elements of a dignified life like access to quality education, healthcare and decent jobs. Yet the West African governments are much less committed to reducing inequality than all other regions of the African continent.

The Oxfam’s Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRII) regional report, which ranks countries according to their commitment to tackle inequality, reveals that the West African’s governments are exacerbating inequality by underfunding public services, such as healthcare and education, while under-taxing corporations and the wealthy.

Without radically increasing their commitment to reduce inequality, this crisis is likely to worsen. It’s time for West African governments to act decisively. Unless they significantly close the gap between the richest and the rest, ending extreme poverty will remain a dream.

Syria: Preparing for a harsh winter

Last winter, nearly 4,900 families, who have escaped the fighting in Afrin, Syria, received warm winter clothes that helped them face the harsh weather conditions, especially with the little heating they had and the lack of proper attire. Each kit consisted of two adult winter coats and three children-sized. 

Funding for these winter kits came at a time of a great need for some of Syria’s most vulnerable people who have escaped the violence and are still hoping for a better future for both them and their children.

Woman carries a winter survival box
Credit: Islam Mardini/Oxfam

Nazeera* was displaced from Afrin and now struggles to provide food and clothes for her five children. “We lost our home and livelihood when fighting escalated in our hometown, destroying my husband’s shop. It was very difficult for him to find another job and we must now rely on the support of relatives. Our disappointment is only increasing, day by day, as we cannot return home and cannot afford to live here,” Nazeera* tells Oxfam.

Elderly man receives winter box
Credit: Islam Mardini/Oxfam

70-year-old Nezar*, was also displaced from Afrin and now stays with his relatives in Aleppo. His leg was injured, and he cannot walk without crutches – but still he perseveres. “I lost three sons to this war, and now I must support their three little children. My condition does not help, and this means we must rely on handouts for the time being. We live in a shoddy apartment with no reliable electricity, which means scarce heating in the cold winter months. We can’t afford to buy fuel. I really miss my old house and hope to return to it soon,” he tells Oxfam.

How You Can Help

Winter is upon Syrian families who fled for their lives across the border to Lebanon or Jordan. Many of them live in flimsy, improvised shelters.

Please help us provide Winter Survival Boxes which could contain thermal blankets, food vouchers, jerry cans, tarpaulin to insulate their shelter – simple, yet life-saving items.

As the nights start to get colder and more unbearable for Syrian refugees, your gift can’t come soon enough and will help support our emergency responses in places like Syria and where needed the most.

*Name(s) changed to protect identity

 

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