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Our big call for change. Page 6
• Cambodia: one text changes everything. Page 18 • Urgent appeal for the Syria crisis. Page 24
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Meet the women going to extraordinary lengths to feed their families – and help them use their incredible power. Page 10
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INTRODUCING THE IF CAMPAIGN
THANKS TO YOU
ONE TEXT CHANGES EVERYTHING
SHOP ‘TIL YOU...
SHELTER FROM THE STORM
Get Together celebrations, Oxfam CEO’s farewell and campaigning success for 500 George Osbornes.
Annonciata, Rwanda. Find out how you can help super women feed their families.
Everything you need to know about the biggest call for change this generation has ever seen.
They would do anything to feed their families. And they can – with a little help from you. See how projects you’re supporting in Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia are changing lives around the world. Oxfam supporter Janet Larkin reports how mobile phones are a lifeline for families in Cambodia. Jackets that build wells and handbags that empower women – take a look around an Oxfam shop. Heloweyn refugee camp proves that your support is about much more than toilets and tap stands. An update on Syria – a humanitarian crisis on a terrifying scale. From bestsellers on your bookshelves to vintage gems hiding at the back of your wardrobe. Rain or shine, plan a brilliant summer with Oxfam.
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Fired up by Inside Oxfam? Bursting with ideas about our work? Whatever’s on your mind, we’d love to hear from you. Email email@example.com or call 0300 200 1300. Inside Oxfam Spring 2013. Editors: Ben Beaumont, Emily Wild, Amy Willmer, Kate Kellaway-Moore. Design: Kelvin Jenkins. All information in this magazine was accurate at time of press. Opinions included here are not necessarily those of Oxfam. Inhouse: 5800
your action, your impact
The UK keeps a big promise
As Oxfam’s chief executive steps down, she says “thank you” for helping to change lives across the world. “Over and over again, everywhere across Oxfam, I see people putting in so much enthusiasm, effort and deep commitment.” So says Barbara Stocking, who has spent 12 years at the forefront
“I am so pleased that we really do put poor women’s rights at the heart of all we do.” of the fight against poverty. As Oxfam’s chief executive, she has seen first-hand how your donations are creating real change worldwide. There are many things that stand out for Barbara from her time at Oxfam. At the top of the pile is our work with 4
women. “I’m so pleased that we really do put poor women’s rights at the heart of all we do,” she says. What’s more, she’s really proud of how your donations are saving more lives in emergencies. “We reached seven million people, more than ever, in our humanitarian work last year”. Barbara is hopeful for the future, but recognises that there are huge challenges ahead. “The world is making
SEE THE GEORGES IN ACTION AT www.oxfam.org.uk/inside
progress,” she adds. “But I am deeply concerned about the effects of climate change, especially for the poorest people of the world.” But most of all, she just wants to say thank you: “Thank you all for everything you do and most of all for holding to our values of respect for people living in poverty. We know that we will only get change that is sustainable if poor people themselves are in control of their lives.”
A big welcome to Mark Goldring, formerly chief executive of Mencap, who takes over as chief executive this year. Mark has decades of experience of international development, including at VSO, the United Nations and as Oxfam’s country director in Bangladesh.
A ROLLER-SKATING ZIP-WIRE TEA PARTY Thousands get together to support women worldwide in March. March 2013 was a big month for Oxfam, and for women worldwide. Thousands of supporters held events as part of The Oxfam Get Together to celebrate women, and raised heaps of money for our work with women across the world. From a vintage tea party in Manchester (right) to a roller derby in Sheffield, there were hundreds of Oxfam Get Togethers of all shapes and sizes. In Morpeth, Northumberland, 100 people plunged from a 50 foot crane as part of a sponsored zip-wire event – and helped to raise nearly £9,000 while they were at it. And the folk at Glamour magazine raised a further £5,000 by organising a raffle and selling assorted goodies. Lucy Adams, who organised the tea party on behalf of Manchester WI, said: “More than just baking, fashion and fun, it’s important to support women’s issues and collectively raise money for great causes like The Oxfam Get Together.”
Photo: Mark Waugh
12 LIFE-CHANGING YEARS
Barbara in Bangladesh – one of her last trips for Oxfam.
More than 40 years ago, the world’s richest countries made a promise to spend 0.7% of national income on aid. Only five delivered. But in March, thanks to decades of campaigning by supporters like you, the UK became the first G8 country to keep its promise. In the lead-up to the budget, thousands of you joined the IF campaign to fight for a world with enough food for everyone. Many of you contacted your MP, and 500 of them took up the fight on your behalf. The Chancellor also received more than 1,200 letters from IF supporters. And, on the eve of the budget, 500 campaigners dressed up as George Osborne to march on Parliament. Even in tough times, we did not turn our back on the world’s poorest people. And, thanks to your ongoing support, the UK has set a brilliant example for the rest of the world to follow.
Photo: Tom Rydel
Photo: N. Haider Chowdhury
George Osborne announces more aid to fight world hunger in the budget – all thanks to you.
SEE PAGES 6-9 FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE IF CAMPAIGN.
OXFAM HAS JOINED FORCES WITH MORE THAN 180 OTHER ORGANISATIONS TO LAUNCH THE IF CAMPAIGN – THE BIGGEST CALL FOR CHANGE THIS GENERATION HAS EVER SEEN.
28% OF ALL CHILDREN IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES ARE ESTIMATED TO BE UNDERWEIGHT OR UNDERDEVELOPED.
1,570km2 OR AN AREA OF LAND THE SIZE OF LONDON, IS BEING SOLD OR LEASED IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES BY PRIVATE COMPANIES EVERY SIX DAYS.
90% ONE IN EIGHT PEOPLE ON THE PLANET ARE LIVING WITH THE PAIN OF HUNGER. More than two million children die every year from malnutrition. Millions more face a life of lost potential – just because they can’t get the food they need to stay healthy. It’s unfair and it’s totally preventable. This year, we have an historic opportunity to fight for a world free from hunger. 2013 is the year the UK is hosting the G8 summit, which means this is our chance to put food at the top of world leaders’ agenda.
IF WE ACT NOW, WE CAN CHANGE THE FUTURE. Just ask Mirium Breve. Mirium (left) is a 43-year-old widow and mum to four children, living in one of the poorest districts in Malawi. Frequent droughts meant that last year, although she worked hard every day, she was only able to grow five bags of maize. This fed her family for a few months – but she needs at least 30 bags to keep her children healthy all year round. For people like Mirium, a bad harvest means more than going hungry. It means not having an income to buy medicine for malnourished children. Or to pay for the education that will give these children hope of a better future. Oxfam is working with people like Mirium to make change happen. We have provided her with drought-resistant seeds and training on how to grow drought-resistant crop varieties.
THERE’S ENOUGH FOOD FOR EVERYONE. SO WHY CAN MIRIUM ONLY FEED HER FAMILY FOR A FEW MONTHS OF THE YEAR?
Photo: Agatha Morris
WHAT IF GOVERNMENTS ACTED MORE LIKE MIRIUM? By taking these simple steps, Mirium is working hard to help her family to put hunger behind them. The IF campaign is calling on politicians to be more like Mirium. We want world governments to take four simple steps (see right) – four simple steps that will help the world’s poorest people to beat hunger for good.
OF GLOBAL TRADE IN GRAIN IS CONTROLLED BY JUST FIVE COMPANIES.
WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IF THE G8 LEADERS WERE CHILDREN? SEE FOR YOURSELF: WWW.OXFAM.ORG.UK/INSIDE
THE IF CAMPAIGN IS CALLING ON WORLD GOVERNMENTS TO TAKE FOUR IMPORTANT STEPS TO FIX THE FOOD SYSTEM:
we give enough AID to stop children dying from hunger and help the poorest families feed themselves. governments stop big companies dodging TAX in poor countries. we stop poor farmers being forced off their LAND and grow crops to feed people, not fuel cars. governments and big companies are HONEST and open about their actions that stop people getting enough food. 7
TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN.
Photo: Jonathan Waring
2 SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
3 HELP US BEAT
THE TAX DODGERS
Get an IF campaign wristband from your local Oxfam shop or at www.oxfam.org.uk/inside
Trillions of pounds are sitting in tax havens right now, meaning that we’re losing hundreds of billions to tax dodgers – money that could help put a stop to hunger. Act now – help us use this year’s G8 to put an end to tax dodging. Politicians listen to you. You’re the reason they kept their promise to deliver more aid in the budget. So now, let’s send a message to David Cameron – visit www.oxfam.org.uk/endtaxdodging or use the action card included with your magazine.
Desmond Tutu Archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and a Nobel peace laureate.
4 BE PART OF THE
Join us in London on Saturday 8 June. We’re meeting up in Hyde Park on the same day that David Cameron hosts an international Hunger Summit. Thousands of people will come together for this big IF event, creating an iconic image of support for tackling hunger. We’ll be impossible for G8 leaders to ignore. www.oxfam.org.uk/bigiflondon
Get all the latest on the if campaign in your digital magazine: www.oxfam.org.uk/inside Photos: Cafod
1 JOIN THE IF CAMPAIGN Help us make the IF message as loud as possible this year. Add your voice to the campaign at www.oxfam.org.uk/IF
“It’s time the world’s decisionmakers came to the right decision on hunger.” Photo: Oxfam
LY N O U IF YO HING T E N DO O H, T N O THIS M IS! DO TH
In a world with enough food for everyone, we won’t stop until everyone has enough to eat. 2013 is our big moment – with your help it will be the beginning of the end for world hunger. Here’s how you can get involved:
Women are at the heart of everything we do – because we know they’ll go to extraordinary lengths to feed their families. With your help, even more of the world’s super women will get the simple solutions they need to change the future.
Mum to 18-month-old, Patience.
Like many mums and their babies, Annonciata and her 18-month-old son Patience are inseparable. She takes him everywhere, strapped to her back as she works her fields, his little feet poking through under her arms. In everything she does, there’s a quiet, firm determination. She’ll do everything she can for her boy. She lives with her extended family in a tiny mud house in one of the poorest areas of northern Rwanda. She doesn’t own land, and struggles to earn enough to feed her family, let alone buy medicines or other essentials. But she’s starting to take control of her life, and provide for her son, thanks to an innovative Oxfam project. This region is known for pineapple farming, so Oxfam is helping Annonciata and other farmers to produce and sell pineapple ‘suckers’, the plant cuttings which eventually grow into full pineapple plants. She has been given training and a loan which she used to buy seeds and rent a piece of land. The suckers are perfect for poor, small-scale farmers like Annonciata, as they require only small pieces of
land. What’s more, they grow quickly so Annonciata doesn’t have to wait too long to start earning money from her crop. And that means she can feed her growing boy, and the rest of her family too. “When I get the money, I’ll pay for food first because it’s most important,” she says. “What makes me happy is that I no longer do small labour jobs by the day. This work has helped us when we had nothing.”
“I feel very happy, because I can give my niece and nephew money for school... they will have a good future.” Sopheap Meas
Aunt to Sopagna and Putheara.
Sopheap Meas works all the hours she can to provide for her sister’s children, Sopagna and Putheara. For years, she struggled to grow enough rice to last them until the next harvest. The work was back-breaking, and she couldn’t afford the expensive fertiliser and seeds. Her niece and nephew were going hungry. Something had to give. One day, a rice expert from Oxfam told her village in Cambodia about a new planting technique they could use to grow three times as much food - using less water and fewer seeds. Although Sopheap’s neighbours were sceptical, she knew the old ways were getting her nowhere. So she led the way. The new technique is simple. Instead of planting rice seedlings in bunches,
you plant them one-by-one. These single seedlings sprout more shoots and produce stronger, higher quality rice plants. Sopheap tested the new method on a small patch of her land. When she saw the huge difference it made, she immediately gave over the rest of her plot, and her neighbours soon followed
All photos: Simon Rawles
al to Appe omen w help their d e fe dren chil
suit. Before long, she was growing more rice than ever before. “My family life has improved a lot,” she explains. Sopheap’s incredible determination means she is now able to provide her family with three good meals a day – and all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. But this is about more than food for Sopheap. She’s selling her excess rice, and investing the money in her niece and nephew. “I feel very happy, because I can give my niece and nephew money for school,” she says. “I can support them – when they have a higher education, they will have a good future.” Together, we can train more women like Sopheap to use new farming techniques and use their incredible power to work their way out of poverty – for good.
HELP more WOMEN USE THEIR POWER TO CHANGE THE FUTURE. see over >
Mum to 18-month-old Sejal.
Yes, I want to help women like Sabina feed their children £26 would provide enough high-yield seeds for two families. £45 could train three women to farm so they can feed their families.
Hardworking women around the world are doing all they can to provide for their children. Right now, they’re being held back by a lack of basic resources. For women like Sabina, it means her family is suffering. But she’s determined to change the future.
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Signature Photos: Tom Pietrasik
it’s the only way they can feed their family. Every day, Sabina Saru clambers up the “When my husband’s away, I have to borrow tree outside her house to gather leaves to money to buy food,” she explains. “If we feed her cows. It sounds extraordinary – could improve our harvests, my husband and it is. But Sabina will do everything she wouldn’t have to go away.” can to make sure her daughter Sejal gets An extra donation from you could provide the milk she needs to stay healthy. super women like Sabina lives in a The one thing Sabina will never do is Sabina with plant desperately poor varieties that need and remote region of give up. Every day, she keeps fighting to feed the family she’s so proud of. less rainfall to thrive, Nepal. Low rainfall And with your help, she will win. or training and tools and rocky soils to irrigate their land. make it almost It sounds so simple – but it really is the tiny, impossible to grow vegetables using cost-effective solutions that make all the traditional methods. Mums like Sabina difference. With your support, mums like can’t afford to buy the expensive imported Sabina will be able to grow nutritious food sold in local shops either. Sabina’s vegetables for their hungry children – husband is away for long periods, seeking and build a better future for their families. work in the city. She misses him terribly but
SABINA CAN CHANGE THE FUTURE for Sejal – WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM YOU.
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“We have no means of growing food. We have to think of our child’s future.” Sabina Saru
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Today, you have the power to give many more women like Sabina what they need to feed their families. We urgently need your support to buy simple, life-changing solutions like seeds, tools and training. So please make an extra donation using the form on this page.
£26 would provide enough high-yield seeds for two families.
£45 could train
three women to farm so that they can feed their families
£60 could secure a water pump and irrigation system for a farmer.
POST in the envelope provided PHONE 0300 200 1300 VISIT www.oxfam.org.uk/superwomen
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Any food they grow will be given to their children first. And any money they earn will be spent on family essentials – food, health care and school fees.
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THANKS TO YOU...
see how one village reacts to getting clean water for the very first time. Itâ€™s in your digital magazine: www.oxfam.org.uk/inside
Severe droughts in Turkana, Kenya, have left people without enough water to stay healthy. But now, thanks to your incredible support, 23,000 people have access to safe, clean water for drinking, growing food and keeping livestock.
Photo: Kieran Doherty
Kids in Kenya have a brighter future Our appeal has raised an amazing ÂŁ138,029 by Oxfam supporters, meaning...
new boreholes built 14
water systems renovated
people have clean water, helping them stay free of disease
THANKS TO YOU...
New mum Comfort with baby Wednesday in Accra, Ghana. Mother and baby sleep soundly thanks to the free health care they received at Achimota Hospital.
THANKS TO YOU...
Mothers Are in SAFE HANDS IN GHANA
Life is sweet for WOMEN in Ethiopia
Amount R aised £180,000* *Doubled to £360,000 thanks to a generous donor who matched your donations.
Photos: Abbie Trayler-Smith
In Ghana, 75 women die every week during pregnancy or childbirth. And more than half of all mothers here have their babies without any kind of skilled support. That’s why we launched our Birth in Safe Hands Appeal. We asked supporters like you to help us bring free, good quality, maternal health care to poor communities in Ghana. The incredible news is, in communities where this project is operating, the maternal death rate is down to zero. Njaa Anafo (right) is a traditional birth attendant in Ghana. She didn’t receive any professional health care when she had her children. It was a very frightening experience that she was lucky to survive. The Oxfam project has changed everything – saving hundreds 16
of lives in the process. Njaa explains: “Before the project, we just used to comfort women and tell them to push. But now I have received training and been given a mobile phone I can take better care of the women.” The future is now brighter for all the women Njaa cares for – and hundreds more. They really are in safe hands. Thank you for making it possible.
A year of amazing progress > Maternal death rate during pregnancy and childbirth is down to zero in communities we’re supporting > 120 traditional birth attendants trained to deliver life-saving care for mothers > 200 mobile phones distributed to help communities refer pregnant women to health facilities > 2,000+ people trained in first aid, nutrition and preventative care
nt Amou d Raise 9 64 £140,
> Radio programmes broadcast to 30,000 people promoting women’s rights to free health care during pregnancy.
Last issue, we told you how mothers in rural Ethiopia were struggling to earn enough money to feed their families without any land to farm. We had an idea of how we could help – but we needed you to make it happen. We asked you to support our plan to help more women earn a better living from honey production. Your response to the Plan Bee Appeal was incredible. And your generosity is helping 4,400 women to transform their family’s future. Before you got involved, most beekeepers had no choice but to sell the small amount of honey they produced at a low price to local buyers. Now, not only are beekeepers producing up to 400% more, but they are working together to get the best possible price for the honey they sell.
Your support is providing 4,400 families with a reliable income > Supplying more beekeeping families with new, modern beehives > Delivering essential equipment, so beekeepers can produce four times as much honey > Training beekeepers to use their new hives, process their honey and sell their produce at a better price through a local co-operative.
Your support means women like Shashe (above and below) are now able to earn a better living for their families. “Now there is a complete shift. Now we are in control – we’re making more money than our husbands! I use the money I make to grow crops and buy cattle.”
Oxfam supporter Janet Larkin travelled to Cambodia to see how you’re making amazing things possible. Like helping vulnerable women to share information about storms and market prices...
Nov Khom says a fond goodbye to Janet. Nov is the proud mother of two women who have benefited from an Oxfam mobile phone.
Photos: Peter Tecks
“ONE TEXT CHANGES EVERYTHING.”
“Weather warnings help us protect our crops from storms, and plan ahead. Families now have food and money – I can afford to send my daughter to school. Our phones have transformed the community.” Chum Kor, left
I don’t know what I expected when I was chosen a couple of hundred people don’t have access to to visit an Oxfam project. I’d been selected after information. But even if you have just three phones responding to a request looking for Oxfam in one village, the information could potentially supporters to see their donation in action, firstfilter through to hundreds more. hand. I just couldn’t quite believe they chose me. Before the mobile phones, experts would know I visited Kampong Thom, a very poor, remote that a storm was coming but wouldn’t be able to region of Cambodia. The women I spoke to had been get the information through to the people who need finding it difficult to earn a living and support their it most. And that could mean that someone loses families. Their crops are vulnerable to storms, and all their crops – just because they didn’t have local traders dictate prices so the women aren’t access to the right information. It’s really got home paid fairly for the vegetables they grow. to me the importance of communication. The idea for the project is fabulous – it’s just as Getting information by mobile phone has given simple as having a mobile phone. Oxfam distributed the women so much power. They can bargain with 30 mobile phones, so the women can get regular traders and get the best prices for their family. weather warnings and the latest market prices – To see what possessing one phone can do and all the information they need how it can change so many “To see what possessing one phone things – it’s amazing really. for a profitable harvest. can do and how it can change so When I arrived in Cambodia, It’s just a tiny thing that many things – it’s amazing really.” slots into everyday life. I met a woman called Chum Kor (above). She told me that In the UK, we take our she had just harvested ten tonnes of vegetables mobile phones so much for granted. We can go after she received information on her phone about online and find out anything that’s happening, a storm coming. I thought she must have got that anywhere in the world. But here, receiving one wrong – it couldn’t have been ten tonnes! But I saw simple text can change everything. Just one text: her harvest for myself and it was absolutely true. ‘A storm’s coming.’ ‘Market prices have risen’. I realised instantly how devastating it would have I couldn’t believe how something so simple been if she’d lost all that. could actually change lives. I’ll never forget my The whole thing has made such a massive visit to Cambodia – or the incredible women difference. If there’s no phone in a village, then I met there. Meet Chum Kor and see for yourself how this incredible project has changed her life. Watch her video in your digital magazine: www.oxfam.org.uk/inside
Shop ‘til you...
…BUILD WELLS There’s more to this jacket than meets the eye. It will not only help its wearer to cut a fine figure, but it could also help to restore a water supply after an emergency. So a new look for you could also mean clean water for people whose lives have been turned upside down.
Can you spot... ...the tap stand doubling up as a clothes rail? Or how about the floor crates designed to shift life-saving aid, now being used as a display cabinet? These new fixtures and fittings are the real deal – and they’re just a few of the ways we’re bringing customers like you closer to the people you’re supporting around the world. We’re piloting the idea in a few shops at the moment, including this one in Henley-on-Thames. 20
Margaret changes lives – every day. Each year, shop volunteers like her each sold enough to provide 100 farmers and their families with the tools they need to be self-sufficient.
This Oxfam Unwrapped gift is a bit special. It will help you out of a present-buying fix, and it will train small-scale farming families to grow more food. And, if they manage to grow a bit extra to sell, it will help them to get the best price for it too.
…EMPOWER WOMEN This handbag is not just a must-have accessory – it could also provide a midwife in Ghana with a mobile phone, too. And that will mean she can refer women to hospitals for life-saving treatment before, during and after childbirth.
Photo: Mark Cameron
This best selling page-turner is also a route out of poverty for children in Niger. Just one book like this could buy a teacher a set of books so they can give more children a life-changing education.
FIND YOUR NEAREST OXFAM SHOP: www.oxfam.org.uk/shopfinder 21
EMERGENCIES UPDATE The worst food crisis of the 21st century In 2011, more than 12 million people in East Africa faced starvation. A famine was declared in Somalia, caused by factors including changing weather patterns and violent conflict. Families had no choice but to leave their homes in search of food and safety. Heloweyn is one of five refugee camps set up in Dolo Ado, on the border with Somalia. Right now, it is home to 27,000 people. Oxfam has set up a water system that provides just over 13 litres of clean water to every person here – every day.
The Heloweyn refugee camp in Ethiopia proves that your support is about so much more than toilets and tap stands. When an emergency strikes, it’s essential that we get life-saving supplies to the worst-affected people – fast. We turn to you for help and explain that your donations will provide clean water, food, sanitation equipment – the list goes on. We tell you that your generosity will save lives, and it does. But we don’t always get a chance to tell you how it makes people feel. Two years ago, your support meant we could act quickly to help people survive a massive food crisis in East Africa. Heloweyn refugee camp was just one of the places your money got to work. If you walked around the camp today, it might be quite a bit different to what you imagined a refugee camp would look like. You’d hear children laughing as they play games designed to teach them
about the importance of good hygiene. You’d see people fixing the water points that support thousands of families. You’d smell food cooking and clean clothes drying. But most of all, you’d be struck by an unexpected sense of calm. It’s sometimes difficult to believe that
it’s all been made possible by an intricate network of pipes and pumps that you helped set up in 2011. But seeing is believing and, in Heloweyn camp, water really is life. It means that families are healthy. And that means that children are being educated. And that means that everyone has hope for the future. The water that you helped bring into this camp keeps everything and everyone going. It’s the source of normality in the most unexpected of places.
“Here is peace. Here is safe.”
Habiba Mohamedlo, left, describes the relief she felt as soon as she set foot in Heloweyn camp.
Your support means that children like these girls can put the trauma of conflict and hunger behind them.
In East Africa, as in many places around the world, you did so much more than simply keeping people alive. For people like Habiba Mohamedlo and her seven-year-old daughter, Fatuna, you helped to provide peace at last. Habiba travelled for 13 days by donkey cart just to get to Heloweyn camp. She
remembers that when she arrived, exhausted and incredibly weak, she thought: “Here is peace, here is safe.” The overwhelming feeling in a camp like Heloweyn is one of relief. People risk everything to get here and when they do, your support means they have a chance to stop running and deal with the traumatic events that often led them here. Refugees in Heloweyn camp all share similar stories. Hawa Ali says that the
“This is a safe place. My children can forget the bad times.”
Sahra Adam has been at Heloweyn Camp for a year – she walked for two days while pregnant to get here, holding her youngest child in her arms the whole way.
Children collect water from one of the many water points Oxfam installed with your donations.
devastating drought in East Africa killed all of her family’s goats. Without food or money, they had no choice but to leave. Hawa walked for two days with her eight children to reach the camp. Her youngest child was only seven months. As her children cried from exhaustion and hunger, she repeated: “Let’s go, let’s go – it’s nearby, it’s nearby.” For mothers like Hawa, Heloweyn is not just somewhere to get food to keep her children alive. It’s somewhere she can watch her children play. It’s somewhere she can put the past behind her. And it’s somewhere she can hope for a better future. Camps like this are life-changing for so many people facing emergency situations worldwide. And your support makes it all possible.
Get more on our emergency responses and donate today: www.oxfam.org.uk/emergencies
All photos: Oxfam
Shelter from the storm
SYRIA – REFUGEES IN CRISIS APPEAL
see the difference you’re making in Syria: www.oxfam.org.uk/inside 24
A Syrian woman sits on the ruins of her house which was destroyed in an airstrike by government warplanes a few days earlier, killing 11 members of her family, in the neighbourhood of Ansari, Aleppo, Syria.
Photo: Abdullah al-Yassin/AP/Press Association Images
A HUMANITARIAN CRISIS ON A terrifying SCALE
As you read this article, thousands of people are pouring out of Syria. Men and women, young and old, sick and healthy – everyone is desperately trying to escape the violence that has already claimed more than 70,000 lives. Jordan and Lebanon are struggling to cope with the influx of people and some refugee camps are running out of money to provide life-saving basics. Oxfam is prioritising this emergency above all else. We have previously only assigned this kind of priority status to emergencies like the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. But while the Tsunami hit the headlines instantly, the Syria crisis is unfolding slowly. Its true scale is only now emerging. We know it’s highly likely that the situation in Syria is even worse than reports show. Oxfam is in Jordan and Lebanon right now, doing everything we can to help vulnerable families. But every day we meet more people like Jamal and Alaa – and every day we know we have to find a way to do more. With your help, we can.
dad, husband, businessman, refugee. Jamal Mattar owned a successful decorating business in Damascus where he lived with his family. He never imagined he could lose everything overnight – but when the violence started, that’s exactly what happened. Jamal’s house and shop were destroyed when rockets were fired nearby. He continued to live in the ruins with his eight-year-old son in the hope of being reunited with his wife and four-year-old daughter who were elsewhere at the time of the blast. But when the ruins were struck by a bomb, Jamal was forced to leave with his son and elderly parents. The trauma of crossing to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan was so great that Jamal’s elderly father had a heart attack.
“THIS is a tragedy. The situation is getting worse.” Jamal Mattar Photo: Lucy Brinicombe
Photo: Caroline Gluck
The number of families fleeing violence in Syria is rising every day. Around 5.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes. More than one million people are living as refugees in neighbouring countries. They are in urgent need of food, water and shelter. We need your help to reach more people.
mum, wife, teacher, refugee. Before the conflict escalated in Syria, Alaa Hassan was an English teacher in Damascus. Her husband Mohammed was studying to become a pharmacy assistant. Together, they had created a good home for their children – 18-month-old Farah and baby Karam. But, like many of their neighbours, they were forced to cross the border into Lebanon to escape the violence in Syria.
“We were afraid for the children,for their lives.” Today, although their future is uncertain as refugees, Alaa and Mohammed are relieved to have escaped the violence. Alaa explains: “It’s so dangerous back there. My cousin was killed in the fighting. People were crazy. If you went outside, or stayed close to a window, you could get killed. The day we left, the fighting had been going on for 14 hours. We left in the early hours of the morning.”
We urgently need your help to get life-saving support to Syrian refugees like Jamal and Alaa. 25 Please don’t wait. Donate today using the form enclosed with your magazine.
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