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Cing, Cing and Cing, refugee girls from Burma share not only a name and a school, but also a love for rock climbing
IRC and The Neediest Cases

In The New York Times: 6 stories of uncertainty, hope and triumph

Photo: Andrew Oberstadt/IRC

For more than 100 years, The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund has assisted thousands of people in need. In 2016, the International Rescue Committee became the first global organization to be supported by the fund.

During this year's campaign, The New York Times has published the following stories of families and individuals who benefited or may benefit from the fund.

In Lebanon, she answers the call of refugee children in need

Hundreds of refugee children work on the streets of Lebanon to support their families. Farah Omari, a case manager in Tripoli, works with the IRC to keep these children safe. What she hears is often devastating: stories of children who have been harassed, abused or had their meager earnings stolen by adults.

“We always tell the kids, ‘If anything happens, call us,’” Omari, 32, says. “They can call us 24 hours a day. If anything happens — they get detained, arrested or the child is lost.” Meet Farah.

Home and husband lost, a mother of 8 fears her sight is next

In 2013, Zina Satouf and her eight children fled Syria as civil war consumed their hometown, Aleppo. Now in Jordan, Satouf suffers from glaucoma and worries that four of her eight children, ages 9 to 22, who are disabled – may lose their eyesight too. Through the IRC, Satouf and two of her children receive free regular checkups and medicine, including colon and digestive medication that costs nearly $120 a month. Meet Zina.

From collecting firewood for sale to forging a path in college

Nuam San, 20, was resettled by the IRC in Clarkston, Georgia five years ago from Myanmar (also known as Burma). At the time, she spoke no English and came from a country where women are expected to stay at home. Now, she is a freshman at Agnes Scott College, where she dreams of a having an important job one day—perhaps in the White House.

“I feel like I could help a lot of people have a better life, a better education,” she says, “and not lose hope in themselves.” Meet Nuam San.

In a Serbian refugee camp, women tackling a taboo topic

Mahnaz Alizadeh, 27, fled Iran with her husband and two children to take the dangerous journey to Europe, where they now live in Krnjaca refugee camp near the Serbian capital, Belgrade. Alizadeh is among some 800 women and girls who received sexual reproductive health advice or counseling from the IRC and a local partner. Meet Mahnaz.

Bakers from Baghdad, who fled violence against Christians, pursue a sweet dream

Nael and Manar al-Najjar fell in love and opened a bakery in Baghdad, Iraq. As Catholics, though, they faced discrimination and threats of violence. When those threats turned deadly, the couple fled and sought asylum in the United States in 2014. They worked at bakeries in San Diego for three years, until they opened up their own shop with the help of the IRC.

“We wanted to make something together, something strong,” said Nael, 38. “It is my dream and my husband’s dream.” Meet Nael and Manar.

3 young refugees have a powerful support system: each other

Cing, Cing and Cing are three friends from Myanmar who now live near Seattle with their families. They participate in a new rock climbing program organized by the IRC and Vertical Generation, a local nonprofit. Refugee children spend each week at a local gym, meeting with mentors to work on homework and practice English, before jumping on the climbing walls. Occasionally, the children experience outdoor rock-climbing excursions.

“It was amazing,” said Cing Sung, 13, who has been climbing in the program since last spring. “We made a lot of friends, and adults are really nice, and they help us do our homework.” Meet the three Cings.