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    Research. Rethink. Resolve.

    February 2013

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      Voices of Courage Awards Luncheon
      May 2, 2013 | New York City
      More here...

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    Immigration Reform: It’s Time to Fix the Broken System

    Our immigration system is badly broken. It tears apart thousands of families every year. It fails to protect unaccompanied children who find themselves in this country alone and unprotected. And it fails to recognize the unique contributions and protection needs of immigrant women.

    But change may be at hand. Immigration reform has emerged as a hot topic in Washington, with the President and the Senate “gang of eight” releasing principles for reform in late January. Our Migrant Rights and Justice team has been leading efforts to coordinate organizations around the country to ensure that the voices of women, children and vulnerable migrants are included in reform legislation.

    What can you do? Visit our website to follow what’s happening, and TAKE ACTION now to urge Congress to support immigration reform.

    Give Youth a Chance to Make a Living

    “The police come by and you have to pay them. They come regularly.” Young Colombian woman street seller in Panama City.
    “My mother is very afraid for me. There is no security in the street. She is not willing to send me to work even if I want to.” Sudanese female, 17, in Cairo.

    “I don’t feel safe in market places and in matatus [public transport] because of theft, and I don’t like the shopping centers because the shopkeepers try to cheat us.” Somali female, 20, in Nairobi.
    Displaced youth in urban areas are incredibly vulnerable, as illustrated in these quotes by young people the Women's Refugee Commission met during research on urban refugee youth. Yet, they are often overlooked in humanitarian programs. These individuals, aged 15-25, are a minority group within the already marginalized refugee community. The urban areas in which they live have plenty of opportunities for work and education, yet are wrought with dangers, including exploitation, violence and discrimination. Not only do the needs of urban refugee youth need to be recognized, but so do their potential and capabilities to make a lasting and positive impact on their host communities.

    We have produced guidance for humanitarian actors to empower youth to reach their full potential through sustainable economic opportunities. Learn more about this issue and read the guidance here.

    Voices of Courage Awards Luncheon

    We are pleased to announce that this year’s Voices of Courage Awards Luncheon theme is “Disabled, Displaced, Determined.” Our honorees are Atim Caroline Ogwang Atanga and Dahabo Hassan Maow. Caroline, who is deaf, has worked tirelessly with deaf women and girls in South Sudan. Dahabo, who lost her leg in an attack at a market place in Somalia when she was 14, has worked with adolescent girls, many with disabilities, in Kenya. We will honor them for advancing the rights and dignities of displaced persons with disabilities and recognizing their capabilities to make contributions to their communities. We hope you can join us for the luncheon on May 2 in New York City. Read more about our inspiring honorees here. To buy tables or tickets, click here.

    UN Commission to Focus on Violence against Women and Girls

    The theme of this year’s United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), March 4 – 15, is close to our hearts—the elimination and prevention of violence against women and girls. We will be posting blogs and regular updates on Facebook and Twitter. If you don’t follow us already on these social media sites, now’s a good time to sign up. If you’re in New York City, you can attend events at the Church Center; the schedule will be posted here. The UN site contains information on the official sessions at the UN, most of which are not open to the public.

    Meet Dale Buscher, Senior Director for Programs, Theater Lover and Dedicated Foodie

    Periodically, we’ll be featuring interviews with members of our staff talking about how they got into the field and what inspires them. Here we highlight Dale Buscher, Senior Director for Programs. Dale oversees the Women's Refugee Commission’s reproductive health, livelihood, disabilities, child protection, adolescent girls, and migrant rights and justice programs.

    Dale Buscher (standing, fourth from left) with refugee psychosocial workers for Psycho Social Training Institute-Cairo (PSTIC) who worked as research assistants and translators for the WRC’s assessment on urban refugee youth in Cairo. Most of the young men are Iraqi refugees.

    Q. Where are you from originally?
    A.I grew up in a very rural area—on a farm in northern Iowa near the small town of Algona.
    Q. When did you start working at the WRC?
    A. July 2005
    Q. How did you get involved with the WRC?
    A. I was working as a consultant with UNHCR [the UN refugee agency] in Geneva and was recruited by the WRC's Executive Director to come to New York.
    Q. How would you describe your job?
    A. It’s exciting. Every day is different. I get to meet and talk with refugees in far-flung locations throughout the world, advocate with donors, write proposals for work I believe in and spend my time thinking about and working on how we make the humanitarian system better for refugees and crisis-affected populations everywhere.
    Click here to find out about Dale’s travel, his biggest challenges at work and what he’s currently reading.