ISSN 1710-6931 June 1, 2012 Issue 170
FEATURE ARTICLES

RESPECT helps City Life fight the "national drop-out crisis" in the USA

While more than one million American students will drop out of high school this year, according to City Year (a US non-profit organization that is focused on keeping students in school), among refugees in the East and Horn of Africa, only 10 per cent of girls and 19 per cent of boys aged 12 to 17 will have the opportunity to attend school (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] Statistical Yearbook 2010).

There are many reasons why school enrollments are so low for refugee teens including limited or difficult access to schools, unsafe learning environments, financial constraints and crisis situations, where education comes second to supporting the needs of the family, states the UNHCR Statistical Yearbook.

But why is it that so many American children don't graduate? The reasons, too, are many. City Year identifies students in under-performing schools across the country who are at risk of dropping out and is working with them to put a dent in the statistics. City Life


School Lane Charter School donates to RESPECT Liberia

Victoria Fairburn is a language arts and humanities teacher at School Lane Charter School, Bensalem, Pennsylvania, USA. Recently, she and her students from the eighth grade started collaborating with RESPECT Liberia and the coordinator, Shetha Koon, through RESPECT International's Letter Exchange Program.

As the students become more aware of the situation in Liberia, they set about planning a fund raiser at the school, in which they would sell handmade bookmarks and cookies. The students will be presenting in a museum that showcased persons who have overcome great obstacles in life.

Victoria intends to use RESPECT's posters that have been reated by the poster competition participants in the past to raise awareness about the event and RESPECT refugees in general. Her aim is to donate the proceedings to RESPECT, to be sent to Shetha at RESPECT Liberia to assist in the setting up of a computer facility to be used by volunteers and in computer classes for the community. School Lane

AFFILIATES

Finding a cry, wipe the tears

This is a story of one of our affiliates who had to flee his country and is in deep need of bringing hope to his family now.

Osman (not his real name)*, one of RESPECT International's dedicated affiliates, is now living in uncertain and precarious conditions in Uganda. He arrived in that country last October but today he is still waiting for his refugee status to be settled.

Like thousands of others, he had to flee with his wife and infant daughter after the violent attacks from soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo last year. His wife, although pregnant, was a victim of a mass rape in January 2011. She delivered their baby in June 2011 prematurely, as a result of the assault.

Osman tells his story to one of our editors:


RESPECT: Tell us about your trip to Uganda?

Osman: We entered Uganda together with my family in October 2011, fleeing because we were scared of being assaulted again. We've been attacked by the government's Amani Leo operation soldiers and my wife was massed rape. Uganda became our nearby country to run to. So last October, we left Uvira, walked 3 days to reach Bukavu. Then we went from Bukavu to Goma by boat on Lake Kivu. Then from Goma, we walked 5 days, crossed the border and entered in Uganda. It cost us almost US$200 (approximately £129 or €161) to pay for food and transportation. Tears

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 editor@respectrefugees.org.

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