“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”.

“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

“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

“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.”

“You learn to accept and respect” – Anna Wilhelm from Wieder Wohnen

“I had closely followed the news about the dramatic situation of the refugees arriving in Europe. I was also well aware of the thousands of refugees arriving at Vienna’s Westbahnhof train station. I wanted to do something. I wanted to help. But I didn’t know how to approach them. “One day, I found out that … More “You learn to accept and respect” – Anna Wilhelm from Wieder Wohnen

“The challenge for the refugees is to get back to normal” – Monika Wintersberger-Montorio, Director of Wieder Wohnen

“Over the past decades, Wieder Wohnen has grown in the area of care for the homeless, and we can look back at homeless shelters dating back more than 100 years. This experience is making us strong. “At the beginning of 2015, we started offering aid to refugees. We had observed that refugees, especially families, were … More “The challenge for the refugees is to get back to normal” – Monika Wintersberger-Montorio, Director of Wieder Wohnen

“I wish for my children to continue their studies and serve the country that helped us as refugees” – Mona from Iraq

In line with its 40th Anniversary, which is dedicated to the plight of refugees, OFID has supported a number of Austrian NGOs that deliver services and support to those who have lost everything. One of these NGOs is Wieder Wohnen, the biggest provider of housing and support for homeless people in Vienna, which is currently … More “I wish for my children to continue their studies and serve the country that helped us as refugees” – Mona from Iraq

“I have great hope for a better future” – Haifaa from Syria

Together with her children, Haifaa from Syria has been living at the facilities of Wieder Wohnen in Vienna since March 2016. Haifaa came to Austria to be reunited with her husband, who arrived some months ahead of his family.     “When I arrived in Austria, many things were new to me. But I have … More “I have great hope for a better future” – Haifaa from Syria

Standing tall against all odds – Abed from Gaza

Living in the Gaza Strip, where running a business is next to impossible, Abed El-Naser Badrasawi has never given up. In 2004, the 49-year-old microentrepreneur started up a waste recycling workshop. Abed collected discarded copper and aluminum and scavenged for plastic. The income he earned from selling these materials enabled him to provide for his … More Standing tall against all odds – Abed from Gaza

“I love singing songs in different languages” – Aleda from Vienna

  “I love singing songs in different languages. By singing and exercising, we train our brains and learn new things more easily in general. We already sang in Russian, German, Serbo-Croat, Turkish, Italian and Swaheli.” Aleda, 10, of Turkish descent, is a Superar student. Superar is a social initiative sponsored by OFID, that supports children … More “I love singing songs in different languages” – Aleda from Vienna