A year in the life of CARE: 10 highlights of 2018

Two sisters who were separated from their parents when the family fled from Myanmar, but reunited with their uncle in the refugee camp in Bangladesh. From going to school to fetching water and eating, they do everything together.

It’s been a year of increased conflict in Yemen; of a record 68.5 million people fleeing war and persecution worldwide; and of yet more warnings about the impacts of climate change.

Some of us may feel that the news has been saturated with negative stories, and we wouldn’t be wrong.

But it is important to remember the good work that CARE International – thanks to our wonderful supporters – has done to save lives, fight poverty and help women and girls fulfil their potential.

Here are our highlights of 2018 (in no particular order!)

1) Following CARE’S #ThisIsNotWorking campaign, the International Labour Organisation decided to introduce a global convention against workplace violence and harassment

Garment factory workers in Cambodia

Above: Women garment workers at a factory in Cambodia

At the International Labour Conference earlier this year, governments, businesses and unions finally agreed on the need for a legally binding convention, meaning that in the future countries will have to adopt national legislation to tackle workplace violence and harassment. This means the world is one step closer to making the world a safer place for women at work – everywhere.

2) Despite the cold, wind and sleet, an incredible 10,000 people took to the streets of London to march for gender equality for #March4Women

Crowd at #March4Women at Trafalgar Square

Above: Sue Perkins, who compered #March4Women 2018, entertains the crowd at Trafalgar Square

In the centenary year of the first women winning the right to vote, CARE International UK marked International Women’s Day by retracing the steps of the Suffragettes from Parliament to Trafalgar Square. There, the 10,000 marchers were met with an unforgettable rally hosted by Sue Perkins and featuring speeches by Ann-Marie Duff, Michael Sheen, Helen Pankhurst, Shola Mos-Shogbamimu and musical performances by Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Biffy Clyro.

There was a star-studded grand finale with a rendition of ‘You don’t own me’ produced by legendary composer David Arnold, featuring women singers, the all-women Bond String Quartet and X-factor choir, Urban Voices Collective. Amazingly, the fabulous choir and quartet have now released the song as a single to raise money for CARE!

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3) CARE is one of the biggest international NGOs working in Yemen, a country experiencing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis

Smiling boy in Yemen

Above: A young boy smiles during a CARE cash-for-work project which pays people to build new classrooms to enable more children to attend school; participants use their pay to buy food and other essential needs

Despite conditions deteriorating this year, we still reach one million people a month, mostly through water, sanitation and hygiene and food security projects. Many of our projects put building the resilience of communities at their heart.

4) 10,000 new supporters and activists joined us this year!

You cannot silence me - banner at #March4Women

Above: Supporters at #March4Women 2018

Thank you for signing up to learn more about and support our work! This is fantastic news, as we rely on the generosity and engagement of the public for so much of what we do.

5) Thanks to your support, CARE has so far helped more than 12,000 survivors of the staggering earthquake and tsunami that struck Sulawesi, Indonesia in the autumn

Girl in Indonesia with CARE packages

Above: A young girl at Loli Saluran village, Donggala, helping her parents to bring home CARE packages with shelter and hygiene items, to their temporary settlement

The earthquake and tsunami was devastating, killing at least 2,000 people and leaving more than 133,000 displaced. Lack of clean water and sanitation facilities were two of the biggest problems facing survivors. But thanks to donations to CARE, and to a Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal which raised more than £25 million from the British public, CARE has been able to deliver clean water, sanitation and hygiene kits to those affected, as well as providing vital shelter for those who have lost their homes.

6) At the beginning of the year, you donated an incredible £541,318 to our Help Her Live, Learn and Earn appeal

A farmer in Tanzania

Above: Otavina Kabiki from Kikombwe village in Iringa, Tanzania, takes part in a CARE-run farming field school

Your donations will help women and girls around the world - and they were matched pound for pound by the UK government through UK aid match – with those funds going directly towards setting up a brand new project to support women farmers in rural Tanzania, providing them with seeds, saplings, tools and training in climate-smart farming methods so they can grow the food their families need.

7) CARE and regional partners have been on the ground responding to the crisis in Venezuela, providing more than 15,000 people in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela with vital humanitarian assistance

Man with two young children in temporary migrant camp

Above: Venezuelan children at a temporary camp for migrants

More than 3 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015, according to the UN – but CARE staff predict the actual figure to be a lot higher. As with all humanitarian crises, this has been particularly harsh for women: as they try desperately to feed and clothe their families, an increasing number are being forced or tricked into prostitution by trafficking rings. Alongside trafficking, women are facing a whole range of challenges and risks including a rise in sexual and gender-based violence, and high levels of maternal and infant mortality.

8) CARE is responding to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s worst and most complicated Ebola outbreak in history, in which hundreds of people have died, and 2.5 million are at risk of infection

Young woman and baby in the DRC

Above: Nadej Msika, aged 18, with her 7-month-old son; Nadej contracted the Ebola virus but was successfully treated

The number of people infected continues to rise, and the outbreak is spreading in areas impacted by violence and armed conflict, which makes it very difficult to contain. CARE provides water supply, hygiene kits and personal protection equipment as well as training to health staff on preventative measures for Ebola.

9) CARE has reached over 400,000 people in need in north-western Syria in 2018

Children in a classroom in Aleppo

Above: A school in northern Aleppo: CARE partner organisation Ihsan Relief & Development provides psychosocial support activities to children affected by the conflict in schools, camps for internally displaced people, and orphanages

Throughout the near-8 year conflict, CARE has reached more than 3.4 million people across the country – that’s 25% of those in need of assistance.

10) CARE has continued to respond to the needs of nearly 700,000 refugees who fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since 25 August 2017

Woman washing hands from CARE bucket at refugee camp

Above: Hand washing facilities provided by CARE in Potibonia camp, home to 22,000 people

Although this crisis has faded out of the news this year, the scale of the refugee influx in Cox’s Bazar has been unprecedented and is putting enormous pressure on the Bangladesh government, host communities and humanitarian agencies. It is vital that organisations like CARE continue to receive the funding we need to keep on supporting those in need. CARE has directly reached more than 300,000 people through the distribution of food, household items, health support, shelter, protection, and water and sanitation services.

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.