The mind behind Nasra is Habso Mohamud, a 24-year-old former refugee from Somalia. Habso’s real life is very similar to Nasra’s fictional one, and she shares both stories with schoolchildren at readings across the United States. Habso is clear on the message she wants to transmit: “Don’t give up on yourself and don’t give up on your dreams, no matter where you are or what circumstances in life that you might come across.”
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Only the encouraging murmurs of a trainer who checks on their progress break the silence of the focused women. They are mainly widows or other women heading their households alone. Ranging in age from 18 to 40, most had never learned how to sew before.
A new training project in southeast Bangladesh to promote self-reliance among women in communities hosting refugees as well as among Rohingya refugee women has become operational in Cox's Bazar. The project is potentially a game-changer for women in these communities. It is being supported by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
Humanitarian photographer Giles Duley won a prestigious Amnesty International Media Award for his powerful series depicting the plight and resilience of Congolese female refugees in Angola at the annual ceremony in London on 3 April.
Women and girls make up nearly half of the 258 million people worldwide who have crossed international borders to escape danger or pursue opportunity. Amidst unprecedented levels of forced displacement – with 68.5 million people driven from their homes by the end of 2017 – about half of refugees, too, are women and girls.
Mercy Akout is a firm believer in educating women and young girls. A South Sudanese refugee living in Kenya's camp, Mercy escaped forced child marriage to become a vocal activist, fighting for women's rights. She works in her community, encouraging families to send their daughters to school and stop harmful cultural practices like child marriage.
In the four days it took her family to flee from violence in Myanmar to safety in Bangladesh, 25-year-old Tahara endured a journey plagued by monsoon rains, armed forces and lack of food. When she crossed the border, UNHCR met her most urgent needs, including health care and nutrition for her four-month-old daughter Shahana.
Founder Samira Harnish, an Iraqi immigrant, is named Nansen Award regional finalist from the Americas.
When she first arrived in Jordan as a refugee from Sudan five years ago, Waed was painfully shy, refusing to talk to anyone outside her family. Now, sprinting around a basketball court flinging passes and shouting encouragement to her teammates, she says she is unrecognizable from the girl she once was. Waed attributes her transformation to Reclaim Childhood, a non-profit sports programme for refugee and local girls in Jordan.
1.3 million refugees are currently hosted by Jordan, a country that continues to demonstrate humanitarian leadership in the Syrian refugee crisis. In 2012, UN Women opened its first Oasis— a centre for refugee women and girls to access emergency aid and specialized gender-based violence services at Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan. Over time, the scope and impact of the Oasis model has expanded to encompass multi-sectoral services that build women’s resilience and empowerment. Currently, UN Women operates four Oasis centres in two Jordanian camps: Za’atari and Azraq.