Refugees - Global Impact

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Home. The word indicates a physical place where a person lives. It also carries an emotional undertone, somewhere that evokes a sense of belonging, security and personal history. But for more than 100 million people – displaced individuals and families – home in both the physical and emotional sense no longer even exists. All over the world, men, women and children are fleeing oppression, conflict and disaster, leaving the place that was their home as they are forced to start over.    

-50 percent of the world’s refugees are children.

-An estimated of 29 percent of internally displaced people are young women.

-Young refugees are 30 percent less likely to complete primary school.

The good news is our charity partners listed below are helping refugees. Their programs include critical emergency assistance, transportation to escape persecution, family reunification, resettlement and more.  

Explore the resources below to see the impact of their work.  

Feeling inspired? Be a global champion and help refugees by supporting Global Impact charities through your employee giving campaign.

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Girls smiling at each other
June is Refugee Awareness Month and on June 27, Global Impact partnered with our charities the International Rescue Committee, Inc. and Refugees International for an interactive webinar detailing the challenges that refugees worldwide face every day, including hunger and access to education and health care resources. With more than 100 million refugees and displaced people around the world today, this topic has never been more relevant. While the Ukraine crisis has been at the forefront of our minds, many other displaced persons hail from other countries– including Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Somalia. The number of uprooted and displaced people has increased…
Children smiling in a group
The crisis in Ukraine has understandably been top of mind for all of us these last few months. There has been record-breaking fundraising to support the people of Ukraine (including over $1.5 million raised here at Global Impact) and it’s deeply moving to witness this swell in support. Certainly, other refugee crises have captured the attention of the global community as well – this past fall, many stood in solidarity with Afghanistan refugees and one year ago the global community marked the 10th anniversary of the Syrian war. Still, there are dozens of other refugee populations around the world today…
A group of people holding signs and flags attend a peaceful protest in front of a church.
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is guided by a simple phrase: all people have inherent worth, power, and dignity. Since its founding during WWII, UUSC and supporters have actively pursued innovative ways to address some of the most pressing human rights issues of the day —providing support to people confronting oppression, coordinating relief efforts with community leaders in the wake of disasters, and building networks of coalitions that have grown to span the world today. Founders, leaders, Board members, and representatives who have been part of UUSC’s history have made significant impacts on the human rights issues they worked…
Cropped illustration of refugees: five adults and one child. Text: Refugees are courageous.
The concept of home is complicated. But for more than 80 million people, home in both the physical and emotional sense no longer even exists. Home. The word indicates a physical place where a person lives. It also carries an emotional undertone, somewhere that evokes a sense of belonging, security and personal history. Most of us have spent a lot of time in our physical homes over the past year, further amplifying the word’s emotional meaning – for better or worse. I have had homes in Texas, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and now, Tennessee. Despite growing up in Dallas…
IRC logo over a photo of man standing in front of a flag
In November 2019, Tecle Gebremichael, of Boise, Idaho, did what he felt was the right way to give back to a community that welcomed him years ago as a refugee fleeing war in Ethiopia: He ran for city council. He was the first refugee to do so, inspired to bring fresh perspective as a new American to the city he settled in. When Tecle landed in Boise, he only had a pair of shoes to his name. Those shoes were soon traded for boots when he joined the U.S. Army Reserves, vowing to defend and protect his country. He volunteered…
A woman in an orange head scarf smiles at the camera.
For centuries, immigrants have flocked to the United States, writing the story of America as they created communities, structured governments and formed the foundation of our country. And for more than 70 years, Church World Service (CWS) has worked to support the individuals who seek to rebuild their lives in the United States, contributing their own chapter to the American story. CWS has opened a doorway of opportunity for refugees fleeing violence and persecution who need help resettling and establishing their new lives in a new land. They provide support through all steps of the process – from planning and…


  • Title: Providing Clean Water
  • Charity: Action Against Hunger
  • Country: Ethiopia
  • Photo Credit: Peter Caton for Action Against Hunger

  • Title: Livelihoods Support in Bangladesh
  • Charity: Action Against Hunger
  • Country: Bangladesh
  • Photo Credit: Fabeha Monir for Action Against Hunger

  • Title: Emergency Response
  • Charity: Action Against Hunger
  • Country: South Sudan
  • Photo Credit: Peter Caton

  • Title: Emergency Drought Response
  • Charity: Action Against Hunger
  • Country: Madagascar
  • Photo Credit: Stéphane Rakotomalala

Droughts in Grand Sud, Madagascar, have sharply increased in both frequency and intensity in recent years. Bearing the full brunt of the effects of climate change, families who live in this region have seen drastic impacts on their livelihoods and health. In 2020, there were virtually no rains and this trend continued in 2021. Historically low rainfall levels depleted the few sources of clean water that existed in this chronically dry region. As a result, water-borne illnesses such as diarrhea have increased sharply. And, without rain, there could be no harvests. Food insecurity and malnutrition have increased dramatically. Action Against Hunger’s teams are on the ground, treating malnutrition and helping farmers adapt.

  • Title: Supporting Refugees
  • Charity: Action Against Hunger
  • Country: Uganda
  • Photo Credit: Solomon Serwanjja

Uganda is home to more than one million refugees, who are welcomed to the country with a small plot of land, the ability to work and go to school, and more. To help both refugees and the communities that host them, Action Against Hunger works with groups of farmers to help them learn new skills, grow new crops, and make the most of the limited land and water they have.

  • Title: Providing Emergency Nutrition Support
  • Charity: Action Against Hunger
  • Country: Yemen
  • Photo Credit: Nada Al-Saqaf

Now almost three years old, Watheek was born in displacement. His family fled their home when the war in Yemen worsened. With six children living in a small one-room house, his parents struggle to get by. Watheek suffered from malnutrition in 2021, and received treatment from Action Against Hunger.

  • Title: Firas hopes to open a food business with his mother
  • Charity: Anera
  • Country: Lebanon
  • Photo Credit: Hisham Mustapha

  • Title: Two Participants of the Cooking and Food Preservation Course
  • Charity: Anera
  • Country: Lebanon
  • Photo Credit: Hisham Muthapha

  • Title: Kuja Kuja
  • Charity: Alight (formerly American Refugee Committee)
  • Country: Uganda
  • Photo Credit: Kuja Kuja


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Success Stories

Iraqi woman holding a US flag
Maha al-Obaidi studies for her citizenship exam in Astoria Park near her home in Queens, NY. A mother of five boys, Maha had to flee her home in Iraq after two of her sons and her husband were kidnapped and the family was forced to pay a ransom to secure their release. She lived in Jordan before she was resettled in the U.S. by the International Rescue Committee in 2014. Maha says that when she becomes a citizen, “I will put on my wings and I will fly. “Her family remains divided, with two of her sons, her husband, and a grandson still living in Jordan. She looks forward to travelling to visit them without worries after she gets her citizenship. Her dream is for her sons to join her in the United States and for her family to be together. Maha says, “I am an American woman, and I…
You may have heard about Loay Elbasyouni, one of the engineers behind the historic first helicopter flight on Mars. He’s also a Palestine refugee and a graduate of UNRWA schools. As a child in the Gaza Strip, Loay Elbasyouni was always tinkering around with whatever he could get his hands on. A curious and clever child, raised in Beit Hanoun, Loay would use pots and pans from his mother’s kitchen to build antennae so he could watch TV shows from as far away as Turkey. If anything was broken, Loay would fix it. When speaking to him, he quickly rattled off a list of household electronics he fixed in his childhood: his family’s TV, the toilet, the water pump, his uncle’s radio…the list goes on. When he wasn’t tinkering, Loay could be found engaging the artistic side of his brain by painting, sculpting, taking photos, gardening, or writing poetry. In…
New Mother in Venezuela Receives Pre-and-Post-Natal Support
Michel became a mom in June 2021, when baby Nathan was born; she’s part of the Wayuu community. She lives with her dad, brother and another child that a friend asked her to care for two years ago. She’s a medical laboratory technician and holds a B.A. in Administration. Although she currently works as a Procurement Analyst, she doesn’t make enough to pay for basic needs. Michel has participated in different IRC-supported programs in the community center that is located a couple blocks away from her house. She first visited to get attention after experiencing pain while breast feeding, that’s how she joined the breast-feeding orientation program, in which she has now started to participate to share with other moms-to-be her experience. Additionally, she has joined the Wapushii program after Nathan was born, where she learns how to promote his development during the Early Childhood stage; she also has accessed…
Anna S. sits on her bunk
Anna S. sits on her bunk at a shelter for refugees. She and her family fled Kharkiv when the fighting became too intense, and missiles nearly destroyed her family’s home. She has been staying at the shelter for 2 weeks. Her children, 11 and 12, just started attending a Polish school. Her daughter has had a difficult time being displaced, often crying over the family members and pets that they have lost in the conflict. After escaping to Poland, her family is now staying in a shelter for refugees that used to serve as a hostel for sports camps, part of a skate park that takes up a large block on the outskirts of Warsaw. Now Mercy Corps is partnering with a well-known Polish NGO called KIK (Klub Inteligencji Katolickiej, or Catholic Intelligentsia Club), which runs the hostel. Mercy Corps pays for the rent, staff salaries, as well as for…
Racing against the spread of hunger in East Africa
A fight against the spread of hunger is underway across East Africa, where 32.9 million people are experiencing a complex hunger crisis driven by conflict, the economic impacts of the global pandemic, swarms of desert locusts, and extreme weather conditions. According to the United Nations, at least 5.3 million people in Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Sudan are living under “emergency” conditions, with the threat of acute malnutrition and death. In South Sudan, 105,000 are living under “catastrophic” levels of food insecurity. By air, land, and sea, World Vision teams are delivering emergency food supplies across the region—an area so vast it equates to more than half the size of the United States—in a race to feed hungry families living in some of the most dangerous and isolated places on earth. “We are marshaling resources to support vulnerable communities across East Africa to avert the catastrophic effects of hunger and loss…
It feels like a lifetime ago that the image of Alan Kurdi, a young Syrian boy who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, made global headlines. That tragic image shocked the world. It brought attention to the conflict in Syria that has forced millions of people from their homes. This month marks ten years since the unrest began in Syria. In the last decade, millions of families have tried to build new lives, living as refugees in other countries. One of those countries is Lebanon, where Medical Teams works. Families living in these settlements still struggle to meet their basic needs. They still need medical care and mental health support. “It has been 10 years since the dreams and hopes of more than 11 million Syrians were destroyed. It is hard to explain by words the effect of the conflict on the Syrian refugees in Lebanon. One decade has passed, and…