ISSN 1710-6931 October 17, 2008 Issue 136

Artists For Action Among Benin Refugees

Irene Whittaker-Cumming is the co-creator and co-organiser of Artists for Action, a successful arts show for social justice that seeks to develop and nurture a community based on art that promotes social activism.

Irene aspires to become a professional dancer and works hard to achieve her goal. It is with the same determination that she fights against social injustice affecting particularly refugee and women's rights in African countries.

In the past Irene helped an HIV/AIDS orphanage in Kenya named By Grace Disabled and Orphan Centre, and a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Kampala, Uganda called Promotion, Education and Defence of Refugee Rights in Uganda (PEDRRU).

This year, she decided to volunteer specially at a small NGO in a French-speaking African country. She chose to work with the GPER (Group of Refugee Student Parents), a RESPECT International affiliate in Benin on a project based on children education.

The GPER's aims are to spread awareness and promote refugee children's education in this region. Irene also counted on the help of Working to Empower (WTE), a friend and partner of RESPECT International, whose participation, experience, and support were very valuable.

In 2006, Logan Cochran, WTE's founder and director, also collaborated with the GPER to educate and spread awareness about HIV/AIDS amongst refugees from Kpomassè refugee camp and amongst urban refugees living in Cotonou. Artists For Action


Another USA School Joins Global Letter Exchange

The RESPECT International Gloabal Letter Exchange program has always generated interest because it brings refugees and non-refugees closer.

After the initial exchange of letters, each group thinks of the other as real persons; not as someone out there. They feel each others problems and share birthdays, successes and other happy occasions.

Recently, another school in USA decided to start a letter exchange program, through the efforts of Carolyn Maiorana and Sadhna Gupta, who are youth leaders of the Amnesty International Club, Algonquin Regional High School, Northborough, Massachusetts, USA and have been involved in assisting refugees in Sudan. Letter Exchange

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

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