Box For Life

Box For Life

Box4Life: Pregnancy and childbirth are some of the most painful and difficult experiences that a woman can go through.

 

Box for life

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Dignity Kits

Dignity Kits

The Dignity Kits contained everything these women need to manage their periods in a sanitary and hygienic manner. They included a menstrual cup or pack of sanitary towels, soap, shampoo and toothpaste.

 

Dignity Kits

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The Problem

The ongoing Syrian conflict has displaced millions of people, leaving them with no choice but to live in dire conditions in refugee camps. They must survive without basic everyday essentials, such as food and water. More than 50% of these refugees are women, who experience periods and other natural life cycles just like other women across the world.

Women who are fleeing for their lives don’t stop to think about underwear and sanitary products. But dignity presents itself in the smallest of things – a toothbrush, toothpaste, bar of soap, sanitary pads and shampoo. Such small things go so far to improve a woman’s quality of life.

Lack of water, hygiene and sanitation facilities affect not only women in emergencies, but those living in communities all around the world. The implications of this issue are far reaching and can be deadly.

Lack of hygiene products forces girls to miss out on education

For girls, the absence of feminine hygiene products forces them to miss out on any vital education available to them. Without the means to manage their personal hygiene, girls are deprived of the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Some trade sex for the money to buy hygiene products, risking ostracisation and pregnancy. Others don’t attend school on the days of their periods to avoid the shame and embarassment of leakages. Those that do attend are less likely to participate.

Lack of hygiene products can lead to health complications

Across the world, women who can’t afford proper menstrual hygiene products seek to use whatever is available as a substitute. In Bangladesh, millions of women working in the garment industry use spare rags, often freshly dyed and chemically charged. In rural communities across Africa, girls using leaves or rags are susceptible to infections and even infertility.

Lack of hygiene products puts girls at risk of sexual assault and human trafficking

Without sanitation faciltiies and menstrual hygiene products, women and girls often use the cover of darkness to deal with their periods and other hygiene needs. In some communities where the stigma of menstruation is particulalry great, women and girls go deep into forests to bury used menstrual products. Sexual predators often take advantage of these situations and instances of sexual assault and rape are high. In refugee camps, human traffickers abduct women and girls during the night, and those who leave their shelters are at far greater risk.

Our Impact

As part of our efforts to help and restore dignity to women and assist in the maintenance of their basic life, we worked with on-the-ground partners to distribute essential hygiene items to these women living in camps in Lebanon and Syria. Last year we distributed 450 kits, and this year through your generous donations, we’re set to deliver a further 700 packs.

The Dignity Kits contained everything these women need to manage their periods in a sanitary and hygienic manner. They included a menstrual cup or pack of sanitary towels, soap, shampoo and toothpaste

Islamic Farming

Islamic Farming

Global One’s flagship Islamic Farming project was a 5-month pilot project that implemented sustainable farming techniques. We empowered farmers, particularly women, to become self-sufficient and support their families.

We used our Islamic Farming Toolkit to train 20 local farmers and 20 orphan girls in sustainable agricultural techniques through using afaith-based approach, and providing them with land, tools and livestock.

Our Impact

Since the training, the average yield of the farmers increased by 49%. The project improved the livelihoods of the local community and decreased food wastage. It also helped to preserve our planet through implementing eco-friendly farming methods, such as the use of natural fertilisers.

This project created employment opportunities in agriculture for impoverished workers, as well as providing sustainable livelihoods for beneficiaries and their families.

Global One is super excited to finally launch Pinspire today!

Global One is super excited to finally launch Pinspire today!

Purchase a pin today to help an orphan girl in Bangladesh secure a brighter future and break away from the cycle of poverty!

Global One is super excited to finally launch Pinspire today!!

Global One is selling Pinspire’s beautiful hand-made hijab pins and shawl broaches!

Pinspire volunteers currently design, make and sell these pins within the local Bangladeshi community. The raised funds enable 26 orphan girls in Bangladesh to receive private tuition ensuring access to quality education. While 60% of money raised facilitates access to educational opportunities, the remaining 40% is fed back into the project for the materials required for pin production – this is therefore self-sustaining and all proceeds directly cover educational fees or are reinvested to maintain the initiative itself.

    

Thanks to Global One’s support, the pins will reach a broader audience and increase the funds raised, in turn accelerating the girls’ access to higher quality education.

Purchase a pin today to help an orphan girl in Bangladesh secure a brighter future and break away from the cycle of poverty!

To purchase a pin please follow the link to Global One’s shop here:
https://shop.globalone.org.uk/gb/

 

       

Strengthening sanitation and livelihoods in Rwanda

Strengthening sanitation and livelihoods in Rwanda

rwandaInsights into GO’s efforts to empower communities in Rwanda to have access to good sanitation education and facilities and to be self-sufficient through sustainable partner projects in the region.

As part of our efforts to empower communities and strengthen people’s knowledge of hygiene practices, Global One supported three different projects in Rwanda. These projects were delivered in partnership with the Rwanda Village Concept Project (RVCP), a non-profit, voluntary organization run by passionate students of the University of Rwanda. Their mission is to improve the standard of living in underprivileged communities and build the capacity of participating students.

The projects focused mainly on WASH practices, with the construction of VIP latrine facilities and the house to house teaching of sanitary practices such as handwashing. In addition, the livelihood beekeeping project enabled 30 beneficiaries to improve their living standards.

The beekeeping project

rwandaAt Global One, we believe that empowering women is key to transforming their communities, and this project is a clear example of how it can be done. In fact, the beekeeping project has reached 30 beneficiaries, mostly widows and young single mothers, and is providing them the means to support themselves.

Bees are critical to the ecosystem and a fantastic livelihood means for many. Their importance is particularly high in Rwanda, where our beekeeping project improves the standard of living in a chosen community in the Huye Sector, Huye District.

Before the starting of the practical activities, the beneficiaries attended a training session, in which they learnt how to maintain the hives and increase the harvest. Later, the modernised agriculture activities started with beneficiaries creating protective outfits and modern hives. Currently, the project has reached the final stage, and there are regular meetings to keep sure everything is running well.

House to house handwashing

One of the WASH projects implemented included a Hygiene and Water Sanitation Program, which was divided into two projects. The first being the House to House project, aimed at promoting health through the awareness of proper hygiene practices.

Hygiene teaching sessions were run in four primary schools in the Huye District, reaching over 700 children. The lessons were organized in two days of teaching, to avoid overloading children with information, and the RVCP volunteer used materials prepared by the WET Project Foundation. Young students are also engaged through the “happy hand washing song”, which ensured that the children memorised the lesson learnt.

RCVP is still implementing this project and continue to provide training session in primary schools while also aiming to deliver family outreach events.

Building sustainable toilets

rwanda

In addition to the efforts of spreading hygienic practices through house to house teaching, the second part of the Hygiene and Water Sanitation Program was aimed to fill the lack of toilet facilities in Mpungwe village. The shortage of toilets has resulted in a vast number of the population suffering from diarrhoea, dysentery, intestinal worms and other water-borne diseases, which spread rapidly due to unhygienic practices and unsanitary latrines facilities.

The construction of the site took place between November and December 2016. During this occasion, our programmes team, Terri and Jessica, flew to Rwanda to help the construction of the latrines. We also assisted a family of six who did not have health insurance by paying their medical fees. The RVCP also ran a hygiene teaching session in the village, reminding communities to maintain the hygiene practices learnt during this lesson.

The project made a very large impact on the families of beneficiaries in a short amount of time. Thanks to our effort, 46 of the 125 households in Mpungwe village now have access to a VIP latrine. The construction of toilet facilities, associated with better hygiene practices, helped to reduce the rate of health diseases. However, a large proportion of families still require assistance in Mpungwe village, and there is an urgent need to deliver this kind of sustainable project. Toilet facilities and proper hygiene practices are crucial to empowering isolated and disadvantaged communities. Thus, our aim – with your support – is to widen our reach and continue supporting communities in Rwanda.

 

News: Putting Faith in Empowerment

News: Putting Faith in Empowerment

“True empowerment begins with empowering one’s self.” Powerful article on lessons of female empowerment from the Quran derived from our Islam and Public Health toolkit from former GO Asia Programme Manager, Aleena Khan.

Putting Faith in Empowerment

One of the most commonly used proverbs, which can also be derived from the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is “charity begins at home”. Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “The best alms is that which you give when you are rich, and you should support your dependants first.” (Sahih Bukhari)

While many non-profit organisations rightly focus on development projects abroad, it is also vitally important to work within our local communities here in the UK. There are so many issues, particularly around women’s issues and mental health, which are left ignored even within developed countries. In light of this, Global One hosted the Empowering Women series, a series of events in London focusing on women empowerment and therapeutic healing from the Quran and Sunnah. At these events, women learned about the importance of looking after their own health needs, both physical and mental so that they are empowered to play an active and positive role in their family and community.

The underlying principle is that faith is an important part of the lives of many, and can be used as a positive force to bring about behavioural and societal change. The “faith-based” or “faith-inspired” approach is becoming increasingly popular among Muslim NGOs in their programs. Yet we often shy away from using it for women’s empowerment because of the narrative that has been portrayed about Islam and the treatment of women.

While working with Global One on an Islam and Public Health toolkit that focuses on self empowerment for the benefit of women’s and children’s health, I realised that we don’t need to look any further than the Quran to find inspiration for female empowerment.

Read the rest of the article here

Emergency Relief Assistance for Rohingyan Refugees

Emergency Relief Assistance for Rohingyan Refugees

This is an urgent appeal to help save thousands of Rohingyan refugees who are currently fleeing their homes in fear of persecution.

The United Nations claim that the Rohingyan Muslim minority group are the most persecuted minority in the world. There are approximately 1.1 million Rohingya people living in Myanmar. Most live in the Rakhine state and have been for decades, but it has not been an easy ride. There has been ethnic tensions between the Muslim Rohingyas and the Budhist Burmese, and many people in Myanmar believe that they are illegal immigrants. The Myanmar government also treats them as stateless people, denying them citizenship. Consequently this restricts thousands of Rohingyan Muslims from accessing basic medical care, education and other services.

The emergency

25th August saw the tensions between the Myanmar government reached crisis point with Rohingya militants. 71 people, including 12 members of the Myanmar security forces, were attacked and killed by Rohingya militants, in the bloodiest attack since conflict broke out last year. Since then the bloodshed has not stopped between both groups; 40 bodies  (probably Rohingya women and children) washed up on a Bangladesh riverbank earlier this month.

Hundreds have been reported dead or missing – many of them young children. Rohingya refugees have reported that they have had their homes burned down. This of course has led 123,000 people to flee their homes and their livelihood in search of refuge in the neighboring state of Bangladesh, according to the UN. Hundreds have drowned in attempts to cross the Naf river. Those who have made it to the border are having to walk for days, hiding in jungles, crossing mountains and river to reach the camps. Hence, there are hundreds of vulnerable people without food and life-saving medicine. Those who have found refuge in camps are still lacking basic provisions, as many camps are full and unable to provide the needed supplies.

Our impact in the Rohingyan crisis

 rohingyanGlobal One is one of the few international agencies that have permission to operate on ground,  and coordinates the emergency response with the International Organisation of Migration.

Earlier in 2017, Global One Country Office in Bangladesh distributed food packages to approximately 20 000 distressed Rohingyas living in Letha makeshift settlement in Teknaf, Nayapara, Kutupulong and Balukhali in Cox’s Bazar. We believe with our current knowledge and access we can really make a difference.

This is why we need your urgent help – thousands of young children are malnourished! By simply donating £10, you will help provide essential survival items, such as basic food, water purification sachets, medicines and hygiene equipment. Your kind donation will provide a family of 5 the basic necessities to survive! Here is a list of some of the supplies we will be distributing:

  • Food and water supplies lasting at least a month (rice, flour, oil, lentil, sugar, potatoes, water purification sachets, pots and pans, etc.)
  • Health and hygiene (doctor’s fees, medicines, water purification sachets, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, menstrual management products, etc.)
  • Clothes and blankets
  • Shelters (tents)

Out of each £10 we fundraise, £8 will go straight towards emergency supplies, and the other £2 we will reinvest in fundraising and managing the project.

Please help us with our appeal! You have the power to make a difference!

Islam and Public Health Workshops

Islam and Public Health Workshops

Last month, Global One, as part of our focus on Islam and public health and women empowerment, hosted three workshops in conjunction with our exciting new toolkit: ‘Empowering Women: A Toolkit for a Healthy Society’.  

The workshops included an interfaith session held at Finchley Reform Synagogue in partnership with Faiths Forum where female scholars of various faiths united to advocate the importance of preserving the mental and physical health of women and children from an interfaith perspective.[/fusion_text]

We can be everything we want to be!

Through the support of our attendees, we were able to create an inclusive environment focused on inspiration, self-determination and the use of spiritual power to drive powerful changes:

“We can be everything we want to be! Women are at the forefront of being able to effect small but powerful changes.”

Lessons of female empowerment from Abrahamic text helped to draw attention to the importance of spiritual power in drawing strength from oneself during times of difficulties.

The relevance of these sessions cannot be underestimated within the local and wider community. You can share our vision of female empowerment by forwarding the pdf version of the toolkit to friends and family.

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day

GO Policy and Research Officer, Faeezah Hussain, travelled to Lebanon in May as part of our hygiene pack distribution for Syrian women in refugee camps. This World Refugee Day, she reflects upon her time in Bar Elias and meeting courageous women like Bara’a, a mother of three who still experiences trauma and anxiety when recalling the birth of her youngest child.

[/fusion_text]The word refugee is a dirty word. It strips her of her human – it takes away her name, her favourite colour, her homeland and leaves her with a number. That number is 65.6 million and counting. The word refugee denotes not just a second-class citizen, but a person who was born free but then constrained to a second-class citizen status before being left with no home and no rights.

I visited Bar Elias for the second time in a year last May, which shelters over 300,000 families living in the dry arid heat in the Bekaa Valley. Hundreds of small children run between tents and get tangled between grown-up’s legs, playing and shaking our hands. There are six of us from our team, including Tariq a filmmaker, visiting the camps as part of our distributing efforts of hygiene packs.

A year later

It’s my second visit after almost a year, and I am trying to remember where everything is.

The families here must see thousands of people passing through the camps all year round, bringing food, coming to look inside their tents and playing with their children. But a little girl runs up to me and pulls on my hand and asks me: “Do you remember me?”

Of course, I do. This very spot was the last place I saw her almost a year ago. It made me realise how in a year so much has changed for the rest of us. We have transformed and moved on but Huda was still here, just a little bit more nine years old and a little bit taller. And this would happen, again and again, walking through the same rows of tents and seeing the same faces, still here, still recognising me and still waiting for something different to happen.

Her name is Bara’a

During the distributions of the hygiene packs, I met a beautiful woman named Bara’a who lives in a small tent under the dry, arid heat with her three children and husband. We asked her if we could tell her story and she agreed. She welcomed us into her tent – the inside of which consisted of flat mattresses on the ground with a few scattered pillows. This is where they would all sleep, eat and host their guests. I noticed a small pretty silver tray on the floor with a little silver teapot and a small pot of za’tar, which is common to Arab hospitality. Despite being displaced, Bara’a still tried to make this basic tent into a home.

A mother’s struggle

Her two boys and little girl sat in a row behind her, silent, upright and bambi-eyed whilst they listened to their mum recount the horror of fleeing Syria whilst pregnant with her daughter and how she feared the hospital would be bombed whilst she was on the delivery table. Fighting back tears and hands shaking, Bara’a told us how God has given her children as a blessing, but she wished she wasn’t having a baby in these circumstances: “You want the child, but you don’t want the child.

Bara’a was too physically and mentally exhausted to breastfeed her daughter, and when she didn’t have anything to feed her baby daughter, she would mix either sugar or biscuits in water to replicate the sweetness of milk. Her children aged three, four and five all wet the bed from the trauma of rockets and bomb blasts, and the eldest still cannot speak properly. She told us how the life of a Syrian is a difficult one and thanked us for not forgetting about her.

It could be anyone of us at any time

When we asked her about Syria before the war, she said ‘it was heaven’. She lived in a big house with two big rooms and a garden where her children would play without a care in the world. No one ever asks to live in these situations. Definitely not Bara’a, who dreams of a better life and wants her children to go to school. World Refugee Day is every day. And we are all Bara’a.

On Refugee Day, I also can’t help but remember how the victims and survivors of the Grenfell Tower tragedy have now become dispossessed and displaced. That could also have been anyone of us at any time, and it still can. It just reminds me of just how volatile our idea of ‘peace’ and ‘security’ is.

#WithRefugees

Bara’a only dreams to send her children to school

Bara’a only dreams to send her children to school

“I felt fear, fear…You want the child, but you don’t want the child.”

No mother should fear the safety of their newborn when giving birth. But for Bara’a, a mother of three living in a camp in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, the trauma surrounding the birth of her youngest child, Rouba, four years ago will always remain with her. Her hands shake as she recalls the memory.

“Hospitals everywhere were destroyed. I was very afraid for my other two kids and didn’t want this baby because I was surrounded by conflict with no home to go to.”

Rouba feared the safety of her unborn child in Syria. The very thought of delivering a child in a hospital which could be destroyed at any time, severally traumatised her.

Support mothers like Bara’a this Ramadan

Unable to breastfeed her daughter due to mental exhaustion, Bara’a had to rely on donations to buy formula milk to feed Rouba. Unfortunately, once the donations ran out a week later, Bara’a had no choice but to feed her newborn a mixture of sugar and water. If this wasn’t hard enough, she had to take out loans to provide nappies for all of her children.

The scars of a Syrian refugee

Bara’a isn’t alone in experiencing trauma. Her six-year-old son, Abdurrahman, wets himself at night and is unable to speak due to the mental trauma he experienced in Syria. He was only two when the war started, but it’s left its mark on this innocent boy who was forced to escape with his family after an explosion destroyed their home in Homs.

My home in Syria was like my heaven”. Bara’a recalls the peaceful and carefree times before the war. Her children would happily play outside, and she had no worry in the world.

Since then, the family have moved from camp to camp, being forced to survive in seven different camps in Syria before migrating to Lebanon. Bara’a is consumed by constant fear. Fear of the safety and well-being of her children. Fear of the future that lies ahead. Even when her children drink water from the camp, she cannot stop herself from worrying about the possible illnesses they may contract.

“It’s not safe at all for my children here.”

The uncertainty of their future doesn’t stop Bara’a from dreaming.

“My only dream is to send my children to school…I am so worried about their future.”

Is there any hope?

The shortage of education facilities in Syrian refugee camps combined with the trauma the children experience has meant they are unable to read or write. When Bara’a attempted to send Abdurrahman to school outside of the camp, he was often mistreated and bullied. Stories of refugee children being pushed out of buses on their way to school, resulting in injuries and in some cases death are not unheard of and haunt Bara’a. She is too scared to send her children to school.

Over 2 million Syrian mothers living in refugee and IDP camps share a similar story to Bara’a. Scared, traumatised and living with mental anxieties, these women are crippled by the horrors which have ripped apart their lives and everything they have held dearly to.

Together with your support, we can restore hope to Syrian refugee mothers this Ramadan to provide them much-needed support to help ease their difficulties. Donate a Box for Life today to provide life-saving resources to both mothers and babies to give them a healthy start in life they deserve.