OCTOBER 2013 WINNER

Survival Kit for 1 Family

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Cost: $100

Day-to-day life is extremely challenging for the thousands of refugee families who've fled Syria. After leaving their homes with sometimes only the clothing on their backs, even the basics, like preparing hot meals or washing clothes, can be next to impossible.

UNHCR comes to the aid of these families with survival kits. For $100 one survival kit can be purchased and placed into the hands of a refugee family of five in need. The kits contain necessities such as a blanket, mattress, kitchen set, stove and soap.

These families can then set up comfortable sleeping quarters, prepare meals, do their laundry and provide a shred of normalcy amidst a situation nobody ever wants to find themselves in.

The protection of uprooted or stateless people is the core mandate of UNHCR. The agency does this in several ways: it ensures the basic human rights of uprooted or stateless people in their countries of asylum or habitual residence end that refugees will not be returned involuntarily to a country where they could face persecution. Longer term, the organization helps refugees find appropriate durable solutions to their plight, by repatriating voluntarily to their homeland, integrating in countries of asylum or resettling in third countries.

In many countries, UNHCR staff work alongside other partners in a variety of locations ranging from capital cities to remote camps and border areas. They attempt to promote or provide legal and physical protection, and minimize the threat of violence - including sexual assault - which many refugees are subject to, even in countries of asylum. They also seek to provide at least a minimum of shelter, food, water and medical care in the immediate aftermath of any refugee exodus, while taking into account the specific needs of women, children, the elderly and the disabled.

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