Lamsujen, north of Lhoong used to be a battlefield in the 30-year independence war between government soldiers and Acehnese separatist fighters, now as part of Oxfam's tsunami reconstruction programme, it is home to Aceh’s only permaculture school.
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The tsunami did not only have an impact on the human population. Fish stocks were also depleted, causing a major additional concern for the fishing communities that were traumatized by the disaster. An Oxfam Partner in South India has been creating artificial fish habitats in the coastal belt of Karaikal to increase the fish population.
Never did the youth or elders of Kup in Chimbu’s Kerowagi’s District in Papua New Guinea dream that they would one day see any development in their conflict-ridden villages. Steeped in constant tribal fighting they seemed a forsaken lot. So, when the Kup Women for Peace embarked on a conflict reduction and peace building programme in 1999 there was widespread criticism and scepticism.
Renowned war photographer Don McCullin travelled to Chad with Oxfam. His images show the desperate conditions that people affected by the crisis are being forced to live in.
Day 1 The drive to Abu Shouk camp takes under 15 minutes from Oxfam’s office in El Fasher. Before leaving town glimpses of the camp, home to over 56,000 people, can be seen through gaps between buildings. What hits you first as you enter the camp is a feeling of permanency. It feels like a town. People have built walls around their shelters, and many plastic shelters have been remade with bricks. Erected in rows, at the end of each row is a street name…N15…N9…W2. This feeling that it’s going to be a long stay is confirmed again and again …‘We have no ray of hope of returning home.’ Abu Shouk camp opened 3 years ago this month…it’s an unhappy anniversary.
Almost straddling the border of Darfur and Chad, and less than 30 kilometres from the Central African Republic, the town of Um Dukhun perfectly illustrates the increasingly regional nature of the Darfur crisis, spilling over into neighbouring countries. Before the conflict it was a small town famous for its market that attracted traders from all over the region. Today, as well as people seeking refuge from violence and attacks on villages elsewhere in Darfur, thousands of refugees from Chad have sought shelter here. In recent months refugees have also arrived from the CAR.
“Life has changed much around here,” says Fatima with a proud twinkle in her eyes as she walks around the Djabal refugee camp in Eastern Chad. The site is located just a few dozen kilometers from the border with the Sudanese region of Darfur, which she and her family fled three years ago. Here Fatima and the rest of the refugees have begun to take control of their lives. As a result Djabal is clean and orderly and Fatima has developed the confidence of an active woman who works for her community and earns a little money for her children. Outside the camp, however, violence continues to be an ever-present threat.
“You don’t have to explain to these children what war is – they've lived it,” says Abakar Adam, a professor at a Koranic school in one of the blocks that makes up the Djabal Refugee Camp in Eastern Chad. “They have seen their villages attacked and they have experienced fear. There’s no need for me to tell them why they’re here.” Around 15,000 people –out of a total of over 200,000 fleeing the conflict in Darfur– have been trying to rebuild their lives here for the past three years, despite the fact that their hearts are still in the land they were forced to abandon.
In Aceh, Oxfam grants have enabled many people to restart their livelihoods and restore their dignity.