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Author: Refugee Empowerment International

Kenya is the second highest refugee hosting country after Ethiopia. Most refugees are accommodated in the two main camps: Kakuma and Dabaab where they receive support through food rations, health services etc.

However, some refugees move to urban areas in the hope of finding a sense of community, safety and economic independence. The reality is what they often find is isolation, poverty and harassment. Many are vulnerable to exploitation, arrest or detention, and can be forced to compete with the poorest local workers for the worst jobs. Many refugees are forced to look for work in the informal or shadow economy, exposing them to unfair wages and unsafe conditions.

There are over 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, making up a quarter of the population and putting severe pressure on a troubled state. Amongst this number are nearly 400,000 Syrian children which has placed a large burden on Lebanese state schools. 
Only an estimated 30% of the Syrian refugee school-aged children are receiving an education. In addition to barriers to access and other challenges, a significant obstacle to integration is language: Syrian schools are taught in Arabic, while Lebanese public schools incorporate both French and English.

Therefore, it is essential to prepare Syrian children for entry into the Lebanese school system. REI funds a kindergarten for 100 students in Wadi Zayne in the south of Lebanon. This funding has provided the children with an important education while also addressing their psycho-social needs.

Over the last 20 years more than 22,000 Karenni people have been displaced from their homes in Karenni (Kayah) state in Myanmar. Many more live as internally displaced persons within Karenni state.

Karenni Social Development Centre was established in Karenni Camp 1 in 2002 to address the lack of civically oriented educational and training opportunities available to residents of the camp. Education and employment opportunities for those in the camps are limited so few Karenni know about human rights and how to protect their interests.

Many refugees have been living in camps on the Thai-Myanmar border for more than 20 years and this leads to despair and violent outbursts. Addiction can be a temporary means of escape that leads to violence, abuse and crime.

The drug trade is central to the economy of Myanmar, as it is one of the biggest producers of opium, heroin and methamphetamines in the world. Drug dealers find it easy to enter the camps.

The Prevention, Education and Training program addresses the problem of addiction in five camps on the border, by providing treatment cycles for addicts, prevention education to schools and communities and by training addiction workers.

In Karen State south-western Myanmar, women and children live in communities that have suffered for many years from extreme poverty, lack of basic health services and education. The maternal and infant mortality rate in Myanmar is one of the highest in the world.

Despite a ceasefire agreement, villagers continue to be targeted by the military and are forced from their homes. Some reach internal displacement camps like Ee Htu Hta while others live a precarious existence in nearby villages. Community workers encounter obstacles as they move around between the villages and often reaching medical assistance can take days.

To provide much needed support to new mothers this project provides baby kits to five villages within Karen state Myanmar, including Ee Htu Hta IDP camp.

$20,000 of $20,000 raised

Agency: Karen Women’s Organisation

This project provides 600 baby kits to villages in five sites within Karen state Myanmar, including Ee Htu Hta internal displacement camp.

We take for granted everyday conveniences most of which are absent in refugee communities. Even basic hygiene items like soap are an amenity unavailable to many displaced individuals, especially mothers and newborn babies.

No current open position is available, sorry! We regularly accept interns and currently welcome Japanese speakers or equivalent with fluent in Japanese reading, writing and speaking. Contact REI for further details; info@rei-npo.org  ...

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REI is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. In some ways, so much has changed since 1979 but, in others, so little has. The world refugee crisis continues to grow and cause immense hardship to millions. We are proud that REI support continues to bring hope...