When Shamha was five years old, she had to wear a little pink band around her wrist that alerted people at Mazraq refugee camp in Yemen that she had not been getting enough to eat. She was malnourished and sick. Fortunately, Shamha was given high-energy food at the camp, and she was able to make a slow recovery.
Sadly, Shamha’s story is not an outlier. Food insecurity is increasing around the world. In places like Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and the Central African Republic, refugees and forcibly displaced families struggle to find adequate food on a day-to-day basis. For so many, a little bread and tea is the daily meal.
And while the rise of food insecurity around the world is alarming, there are still reasons to remain hopeful. Generous donors like Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian effort of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are stepping up to reach refugees with the emergency care they desperately need to recover today so they have hope for a brighter tomorrow. This global community of caring Church members is dedicated to ensuring there are more stories of recovery like Shamha’s.
“Walking alongside refugees as they overcome so many challenges to build a safer, more hopeful future for their families has been at the core of our mission since the beginning,” says Cameron Hatch, consultant manager for the Humanitarian Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “For more than three decades, our work with USA for UNHCR has enabled our organization and its members to live out the tenets of our mission and help more refugees around the world live a life of dignity.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has worked with the UN Refugee Agency since 1991, bringing relief and comfort to millions of refugees around the world. On World Refugee Day, June 20, we celebrate refugees’ contributions and seek to build empathy and understanding for their plight and their resilience in order to build a bright future. Take a moment and read just a couple of the stories of recovery and hope that generous supporters like the Church help make happen.
A Health Clinic Is Lifesaving for Ethiopian Refugees Fleeing Tigray
The Um Rakuba refugee camp in eastern Sudan reopened in November 2020 to accommodate Ethiopians fleeing conflict in the Tigray region. One of the first initiatives at the camp was opening a health and nutrition center to ensure refugees were healthy and receiving adequate care.
Both Ethiopian refugees and host community members can access health services. This facility not only addresses the health needs of the community but is vital in ensuring the healthy growth of babies and children. The clinic administers nutritional screenings, performed through upper arm measurements and growth tracking. Parents are then given guidance on how to best address the nutritional needs of their children so they can begin to thrive.
In Jordan, a Syrian Mother Has Hope for Her Family’s Future Again
Winter is difficult for Huda and her five children, Syrian refugees living in Jordan. She’s a widow and also cares for her elderly father. Protecting and caring for her family is a constant concern for Huda, and it has not always been easy.
“There has been hardly a day in the last year when one of us has not cried,” she says. “Life has become very difficult.”
But then donor support came through, and Huda’s soul was infused with joy. Her fears were calmed because she knew she would have the essentials to keep her family safe for the winter: gas for heat and cooking nutritious meals and warm clothes for her children. She also has a sense of relief that her family is cared for, and that’s the greatest gift of all.
How Can You Help?
Through generous donations and service, more refugees will have the opportunity to build a peaceful life and give their families a bright future. You can find ways to serve refugees and those facing food insecurity on JustServe.org. Get involved in a nearby or remote refugee project.