ISSN 1710-6931 February 22, 2008 Issue 119

Liberian Refugees In Ghana Fear Returning Home

In 1990, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) opened the Buduburam Refugee Camp located in Ghana in West Africa. The camp housed mostly Liberians who fled the violence that marred their country during the Liberian Civil War in the 1990s and during the Second Liberian Civil War that began in 1999 and ended in 2003.

Some 45,000 refugees, mainly women and children, reside at the refugee camp according to one UNHCR survey and as of January 2007, Liberian refugees still remain in Ghana despite the presence of 15,000 UN forces in their own country. Now, the Buduburam Refugee Camp faces closure and that is an unsettling fact for many refugees still residing there.

It is understandable why Liberians in the Buduburam Refugee Camp fear going home. In a country battered by years of civil unrest, unemployment in Liberia "stands at a staggering 85 percent" according to the World Food Program website and the country has a life expectancy of just 42 years (World Health Organization 2004 study).

Macedo, a refugee who lived at the Buduburam Refugee Camp for 11 years, came to know about the closure of the camp when he lived there in 2006, six months before it was first slated to close. Liberians Refugees

Roots & Shoots Groups Paired With RESPECT Groups

The link between RESPECT International and the Roots & Shoots program continues to blossom as more RESPECT members join together with Roots & Shoots groups to share ideas and learn.

Roots & Shoots (R&S) is a program of the Jane Goodall Institute, an organisation that campaigns for, and undertakes, wildlife research, education and conservation.

The R&S program, a powerful, youth-driven, global network of more than 8,000 groups in almost 100 countries, has taken up an offer to pair some of these groups with RESPECT refugee groups. The initiative will provide a space for an exchange of ideas and action, which aims to promote solidarity, friendship and cross-cultural and environmental awareness.

Recent links in the scheme saw the Boys and Girls Church Army of Kitgum, Uganda, paired with the Okapi7 R&S group from New York; Laine Refugee School in Guinea paired with the Cahuilla Desert Academy R&S group in California, and Riberber Cultural Dance and Drama from Kitgum paired with the Wings R&S Group from New Jersey. Roots & Shoots


Poster Contest Deadline Quickly Approaching

Entries for this year's poster contest must be postmarked no later than 1 April 2008. That leaves only a few weeks for students to complete their posters and submit them for judging.

Let The Voice Of Youth And Children Be Heard has been selected as the theme for this year's contest. The theme was chosen from the excellent suggestions we received.

We are looking forward to seeing the many creative ways students will incorporate the theme into their posters.

Limited funds are available for refugee schools to help defray the cost of postage. For details, contact Poster Contest coordinator Olivia Wallace.



Caregivers at the Agoro Early Child Development center in Agoro, Kitgum District, Northern Uganda.

IDP camp

Agoro internally displaced persons (IDP) camp Kitgum District, Northern Uganda.

As in any newsletter or magazine, RESPECT e-zine is committed to striving for interesting articles and announcements concerning refugee issues all around the world.

If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute an article, contact the e-Zine editor, Angela Carter, at

To be removed from our mailing list, please complete the online form at: (english) (español). (français).