Archive For May 31, 2016

Day 1: Looking behind the veneer of Samos

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Day 1: Looking behind the veneer of Samos

Christine and Cecilia chatted this time last week as they looked back on their first full day in Greece with the delegation of twelve women from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI). Each day this week we’re looking back at their trip and listening to their reflections. On Tuesday the group travelled to the…

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Twelve women in Greece: adding drops into the ocean

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Twelve women in Greece: adding drops into the ocean

Christine Elliott is the director of world church programmes at Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. Throughout this week we’ll be publishing articles, conversations and reflections by the twelve women who visited Greece as part of CTBI’s delegation. Last Monday I set off for Greece for five days to visit and meet with women involved in the refugee…

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Free German/English language learning app + picture dictionaries for refugees

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Free German/English language learning app + picture dictionaries for refugees

Two European language-related tech start-ups have teamed up to offer Syrian refugees free access to smartphone apps that help teach German and English and overcome language barriers with picture dictionaries. busuu is offering its German and English language courses for free to anyone using the Arabic version of its app. Download the app, click on…

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Disproving the oft-repeated statistic that the average stay in a refugee camp is 17 years?

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Disproving the oft-repeated statistic that the average stay in a refugee camp is 17 years?

Is it really true that the average stay in a refugee camp is now 17 years? That was a question asked on a recent episode of BBC World Service’s More or Less programme that examines the facts behind quoted statistics. The statistic seems to originate in a nine year old UNHCR publication and whilst referring…

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WCC on role of faith-based communities to address humanitarian needs

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WCC on role of faith-based communities to address humanitarian needs

The World Council of Churches’ general secretary detects “a remarkable change towards acknowledging the role of faith-based communities and their resources to address humanitarian needs”. Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was speaking during the recent World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. “This is promising for those who need more assistance, and it is promising for the…

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Aid donors and NGOs pledge to fund local organisation with 25% of humanitarian funding

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Aid donors and NGOs pledge to fund local organisation with 25% of humanitarian funding

One pledge made at the World Humanitarian Summit is a commitment by major aid donors and NGOs to ensure 25% of humanitarian funding goes directly to local organisations on the front line of disaster relief. Christian Aid’s head of humanitarian policy, Michael Mosselmans, said: “This is a significant step forward. Currently local agencies only directly receive…

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Oxfam “Some progress … but world leaders fail to deliver the goods” at World Humanitarian Summit

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Oxfam “Some progress … but world leaders fail to deliver the goods” at World Humanitarian Summit

Irish President Michael D Higgins spoke in advance of the World Humanitarian Summit, alarmed at the “diplomatic failure” that is demonstrated by “75% of people are fleeing from conflict in five countries”. Relatively few aid and development organisations have made public comment about the results of the Istanbul summit which closed yesterday. Oxfam International have. Their…

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Jubilee Centre: Safe Haven?

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Jubilee Centre: Safe Haven?

The Jubilee Centre is a Christian social reform organisation offering a biblical perspective on contemporary issues and underlying trends in society. Responding to the European refugee crisis, the Jubilee Centre has produced a five minute film to present some of the challenges and responses with a focus on what can be done now by local…

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Greek authorities begin evacuation of Idomeni refugee camp

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Greek authorities begin evacuation of Idomeni refugee camp

An Associated Press report appeared in the Kathimerini English Edition daily newspaper published in Athens on Tuesday. It explained that Greek authorities had begun to evacuate the Idomeni refugee camp. Lying on the border with Macedonia, Idomeni is the largest informal refugee camp in Greece. Residents are being moved to newly completed ‘official’ camps, for example in Thessaloniki. The…

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CEC Summer School on Human Rights: Stand Up for Women and Children’s Rights

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CEC Summer School on Human Rights: Stand Up for Women and Children’s Rights

The Conference of European Churches (CEC) human rights summer school will be held next week in Thessaloniki, Greece. Alongside specific sessions looking at the experience of women and children as refugees, the event will also explore human and organ trafficking, sexual exploitation, working conditions and pay, an equal level of education and progress in the…

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