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When Teamwork Makes The Dream WORK: Addressing Refugee Crisis

As John F. Kennedy rightly says “Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.” His words resonate within youth in a cosmic frame that craves to make a difference. In our ever-growing inter-connected world, working for the Sustainable Development Goals is only going to make sense when there is cooperation on a global level. We call for partnerships for the goals in order to build healthy relationships for better implementation.

The World Refugee Day commemorates the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees and is observed by the United Nations and a 100 countries on the 20th of June. While  maintaining strategic partnerships with more than 900 partners, let’s shed some light to some of the world’s best initiatives taken forward in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency for the benefit of refugees.

Educate A Child (EAC)

Children, who are accounted to be our future, are unfortunately the highest amount of people who go through crisis situations that a regular adult will never want to deal with. One of the major areas that is affected is their education. As desolate as it sounds, only 50% of refugee children attend primary school. Stats for higher education wouldn’t remain all that surprising.

EAC and UNHCR’s shared commitment to children in the circumstances of turmoil works to improve these numbers and lives. EAC helps ensure that over 448,000 refugee children gain quality education through this initiative. The partnership is a ray of hope to many.

REFUNITE (Connecting Families)

The biggest tragedy of all times among refugees is the loss of loved ones as well as the separation of many. To combat this separation of emotional connect, REFUNITE along with UNHCR and mobile operator MTN in Uganda has launched it’s first pilot project to locate and reunite refugee families through spectacular ways of technological usage.

A programme has been built that enables refugees to search for their loved ones and reconnect via an anonymous database using SMS or mobile internet. The program is definitely exceptional and is making an impact as it might take years to locate displaced families when based on traditional paper based systems.

Refugee Artisan Project

Though termed as refugees and displaced individuals, people will always remain people. They bring their cultural heritage along with them that in a way majorly defines them. They also tend to have an interest in sustaining their artistic traditions which also helps them become self-reliant in many ways. Between 2002 and 2012, the artisan economy doubled to more than $32 billion a year.

The idea to train and linking refugee artisans with global markets was taken up beautifully by the Refugee Artisan Project. It has not only served to become a great way to help refugees become stable but has also been helping them get their work be recognised and valued across borders.


UNHCR and hundreds of partnerships like these aid in providing an array of services for vulnerable people including immediate relief — food, water and shelter — as well as legal assistance, education and health care.

The idea is to not only focus on doing our thing individually, but constantly try to make things right by cohesively working with everyone for the same. SDG 17 does exactly that. And we call for you to be a part of these initiatives too and take an action that really MATTERS. A lot has been said and preached, it’s high time we get real.

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