Eric Schwartz, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, shares his first hand experience traveling in Chad. At a refugee camp, he witnessed the powerful role that women can play in the decision-making process to transform the communities and societies they live in.
36 million refugees live in camps worldwide. Half of them are children. Learn how the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is helping children to survive and thrive in the midst of conflict and disaster -- and meet two women who are a driving force behind this work: Jodie Eastman and Susan Patricof. Both were honored at the IRC's Children's Lunch on May 17, 2011.
Thong Nguyen's father was a ranking member of the South Vietnamese military and in 1975, with Saigon about to fall to the North Vietnamese army, flight was the only option. The family reached New York, and for a year, Nguyen, his parents and five siblings lived in a small apartment on the Upper West Side. Nguyen later won a scholarship to Columbia, earning a mechanical engineering degree, then an MBA.
After Trinh Doan’s home city of Da Nang fell to the North Vietnamese in 1975, her father – a university professor – was sentenced to indefinite house arrest. In 1979, her family fled, making a two-week voyage in a wooden boat to Hong Kong, where they got help from the IRC. Two years later an IRC representative met their plane on a chilly October day in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Born in Ethiopia in 1956, Eskinder Negash enjoyed a happy childhood with his 12 brothers and sisters -- but that changed in 1974, when Emperor Haile Selassie was removed from power by a Soviet-backed military coup.
The communist regime executed dozens of Ethiopian leaders and persecuted potential opponents.
In 1980, Negash fled alone to Sudan, where he became the International Rescue Committee's (IRC) first staff member in that part of the country.
Hidden Voices: Urban Refugees is a video produced by the International Rescue Committee and MediaServe International. The short film highlights the daily struggles facing thousands of urban refugees living in the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi. In their own words, the refugees tell of how they face poverty, harassment and violence as they make their way in the urban environment.