Michelle from Lebanon explains why empowering refugees is vital

  “In January 2016, I conducted research on the programs offered to Syrian refugee women in Jordan as part of my Seniors Honors thesis. I interviewed more than 50 women and asked them about their experiences as refugees. Many of the women expressed stories of loss and hardship, while others talked about their strengths and … More Michelle from Lebanon explains why empowering refugees is vital

“I want to break the vicious cycle of poverty and malnutrition through the economic empowerment of women.” – Bonita from Nepal

  “In our everyday life, we meet a lot of people, and some of these people help us realize the purpose of life. I have been involved in various health-related projects and programs in Nepal since my undergraduate days. However, my actual journey to self-discovery began with a mother’s story. This was the moment I … More “I want to break the vicious cycle of poverty and malnutrition through the economic empowerment of women.” – Bonita from Nepal

“I am a tangible example of impossible becoming possible.” – Olive from Rwanda

“My life has been a song that is spoken and a dance that is walked—this is probably the best way to describe my life. I grew up in the highly political and war-torn country of Rwanda and I was deeply affected by the Rwandan genocide in 1994. As a result, I experienced a lack of … More “I am a tangible example of impossible becoming possible.” – Olive from Rwanda

“I have nothing to give you but God and an education”.

“Han wash han does mek han come clean” this creole phrase describes my life perfectly. Born in the capital city of Georgetown, Guyana to unwed parents. I remember like it was yesterday my foster mother saying, “I have nothing to give you but God and an education” and that she did, making sure that I … More “I have nothing to give you but God and an education”.

Yousef from Rafah: “I wish I could fly a kite.”

Yousef Al-Bouji hails from Rafah in Palestine. He is 11 years-old and has a physical disability. He’s one of the many children supported by an OFID co-financed project that has improved access to services such as education, physical therapy and psychosocial support. The project has helped thousands of children and adults with disabilities living in … More Yousef from Rafah: “I wish I could fly a kite.”

“Water is now closer and cheaper” – Monica from Kenya

A new water network, co-financed by OFID is enabling a community in Nairobi, Kenya, to have safe, legal access to water for the first time. Kahawa Soweto is home to 8,000 people and the entire settlement has never had a legal water supply. Residents have been dependent on water vendors, who would connect illegally to … More “Water is now closer and cheaper” – Monica from Kenya

“Today, we are the only producer of green charcoal briquettes in Mali.” – Ousmane Samassekou

Ousmane Samassekou made several attempts before his company AFOvert found an economically viable way to produce its ‘green’ charcoal briquettes. Made of charcoal dust and used mainly for cooking, the briquettes offer an environmentally friendly substitute for coal and charcoal. Ousmane developed the technology with support from GERES, an organization dedicated to promoting the use … More “Today, we are the only producer of green charcoal briquettes in Mali.” – Ousmane Samassekou

“We had a home” – Walid from Syria

In recognition of the immense challenges faced by refugees, OFID dedicated 2016, the year of its fortieth anniversary, to highlighting their plight. Against the background that over half of the world’s refugees are children, OFID together with the Child of Play Initiative, launched the Equal Dreams campaign to address the challenges of being a refugee … More “We had a home” – Walid from Syria

“My greatest fear is to be unable to continue to help people” – Fatima Ahmed from Sudan

Fatima Ahmed is the director of the Sudan based NGO Zenab for Women in Development (ZWD). Since 2000, ZWD has worked to increase productivity, reduce hunger and malnutrition, and improve the livelihoods of rural women in Sudan. OFID provided grant assistance in support of ZWD’s activities that contribute to the empowerment of women farmers by … More “My greatest fear is to be unable to continue to help people” – Fatima Ahmed from Sudan

Cambodia: Building a big future for small businesses

Access to affordable financing is key in a country whose economy is driven by a veritable army of micro-, small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs. Man Phirun, 43, is a leading businessman in his community, generating annual sales revenues of US$500,000–US$600,000 from his highly successful fish farm in Cambodia’s Kendal Province. When he started his enterprise five … More Cambodia: Building a big future for small businesses

“Historically Amman has been the house and home of so many nationalities […] and it is proving to be the home again for both our Jordanian and Syrian children.”

Tala Sweis is the Director of Madrasati, a Queen Rania Al Abdullah education initiative. Madrasati, which in Arabic translates to ‘my school,’ aims to better equip schools in Jordan and make them more inspiring learning environments. In recognition of the immense challenges faced by refugees, OFID dedicated 2016, the year of its fortieth anniversary, to … More “Historically Amman has been the house and home of so many nationalities […] and it is proving to be the home again for both our Jordanian and Syrian children.”