Your Christmas Action: When all hope seems lost
This Christmas, can you help restore hope for families in East Africa who are far from home?
Please listen, God, and answer my prayer!
I feel hopeless, and I cry out to you
from a far away land.
Far from home...Through ALWS, you work in some of the toughest places on earth - with refugees in camps like Kakuma, and helping people in danger zones like South Sudan.
Recently, the LWF team you support there reported an increase in refugees attempting, and completing, suicide.
What we’re seeing is that people are losing hope.
While they may be safe inside camps, they are far from home, and they say going home seems impossible. They are not sure what they will find when they get there and if they will be safe.
What's really upsetting is that a number of the suicides are teenage girls.
Too often girls drop out of school because parents can’t afford the fees. Some are then forced into early marriage so the family can receive a dowry - the only way they see to survive.
Girls forced to be wives, then mums, then forced labour, miss out on school, and the chance to ever break free of the poverty and pain that imprisons them.
This danger to girls is why we must now do more.
Please give your Christmas Action gift NOW to protect those at risk of losing hope.
Who you help
When you hear Elizabeth's story, you'll understand why your Christmas Action gift is so desperately needed.
Elizabeth’s father hoped for a bride price of cows. Elizabeth wanted desperately to run away, but was only rescued after she’d been forced to have two children. When conflict came, Elizabeth fled South Sudan with her children.
Now at Kakuma Refugee Camp, all three can go to school thanks to the kindness of people like you through ALWS.
Without this, Elizabeth may also have lost hope, and been in deadly danger.
Far from home, far from hope
"I did not go to school because my father refused. He said that if a girl goes to school she may be told that early marriage is not good ... My father forced me to be married to a man. I was 13."
How you help: 6 step action plan
Your support for people far from home is delivered through our partner LWF, who is recognised as an expert in this work. In fact, of the UN’s 861 partners in caring for refugees, LWF is the sixth largest!
1. Support refugee children to go to school
Give special care to girls, older children who missed out on school, orphans, children with disabilities, and children arrived on their own.
2. Reinforce counselling services
...for those suffering trauma, and provide early detection and protection for those at risk.
3. Create places of hope
Build community centres so people can gain strength and support from others. Develop safe Child-Friendly Spaces to help children have fun.
4. Develop 'Pure Joy' events
Instead of people only meeting at funerals, let’s grow sports, concerts (‘Kakuma’s Got Talent’), International Day celebrations, so people can have reasons to be optimistic and feel happy.
5. Encourage refugees to be volunteers
Link bored youth with lonely elders, grow community vegetable gardens, set up committees supporting schools and water supplies.
6. Ramp up building schools, services and staff
...in South Sudan, so when refugees return home children have education and families can be self-supporting.