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    Research. Rethink. Resolve.

    NOVEMBER 2012

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    Superstorm Sandy: A Reminder of the Importance That Communities Play in Planning and Response

    Two weeks ago, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record devastated huge areas of the Caribbean and the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States. Many parts of New York and New Jersey are still reeling from the effects. The hurricane also wrought havoc on Haiti, where hundreds of thousands of people are still living in tent encampments almost three years after the January 2010 earthquake destroyed much of the capital.

    In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, it is hard not to reflect on human vulnerabilities that transcend borders. The importance of our communities in preparedness and response efforts come clearly into focus. Read our blog about how communities can be empowered to prepare for future disasters.

    Shifting Sands: Risk and Resilience among Refugee Youth in Cairo

    Shifting Sands: Risk and Resilience Among Refugee Youth In CairoOur new report Shifting Sands: Risk and Resilience among Refugee Youth in Cairo assesses refugee youths’ capacity to learn and to earn a living in a changing, sometimes volatile situation and makes recommendations for increasing the opportunities available to them. While often marginalized, most refugee youth in Cairo are managing to survive—many attend secondary school, and some are working. But there are concrete ways that humanitarian agencies, donors and local organizations can better protect them and expand their access to both education and employment.

    The report is the third in a series. Earlier reports looked at opportunities for refugee youth in Nairobi, Kenya, and Panama City, Panama.

    Learning from Refugee Girls

    If I had the means to keep my girls safe, I would. But I don’t have the means. All I can do is try to keep the girls busy at home with as much to do as possible during the day so that they don’t go out. And at night I force them to stay inside so they’re not exposed.

    –Female community leader, Nyarugusu Camp, Tanzania

    refugee-girlsWomen’s Refugee Commission staff recently returned from a trip to the Nyarugusu Camp in western Tanzania, which hosts 66,500 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The camp has been in existence for 16 years, and many girls have spent their entire lives there. They face multiple risks to their safety and well-being and many challenges to going to school and becoming self-reliant adults. Read a blog by Program Officer Kathryn Paik about the girls she met at Nyarugusu.

    Our research in Tanzania, as well as in Ethiopia and Uganda, will help us develop innovative projects in the three countries to better protect and empower adolescent girls who have been displaced. We will be releasing reports on the research we conducted at Nyarugusu and in southwestern Uganda later this year. You can read our Ethiopia report here.

    Envisioning Safe Livelihoods Photo Contest

    Women affected by conflict and disaster are frequently put at risk when they try to earn a living to support their families: they often take on work that makes them extremely vulnerable to violence and exploitation. We are at the forefront of organizations advocating for programs that promote opportunities for women and girls while protecting them from harm.

    Join us in celebrating safe livelihoods. Help choose the Community Choice winner of our Envisioning Safe Livelihoods photo contest by voting for one of four finalists here!

    Voting ends November 23. The Community Choice winner will be announced on November 26 and will have their photo published on the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s website AlertNet and on our website and printed material.

    Campaign against Gender Violence

    The annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence begins on November 25. This global campaign aims to inspire conversation and awareness about all forms of violence against women and calls for eliminating this violence everywhere. We will be featuring a series of blogs and daily social media posts on the impact of gender-based violence on women and girls who have been uprooted from their homes and communities and how to best address it. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and visit our website regularly for updates and to learn how you can get involved. 

    In the News

    Jessica Jones, Equal Justice Works Fellow, speaks about children and youth fleeing gang violence in Central America in this Al Jazeera segment.

    Jessica is quoted and our new report Forced From Home: The Lost Boys and Girls of Central America discussed in this National Journal article by Rosa Ramirez.

    Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard reacts to the release of Forced From Home: The Lost Boys and Girls of Central America in this piece on her website.

    Reproductive Health Program Officer Mihoko Tanabe co-authored an article on the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents in humanitarian settings for Forced Migration Review.

    Our ambassador Mamie Gummer says the Women’s Refugee Commission is “one of her favorite charities” in an interview in Glamour magazine.