For some of the 200 000 refugees from Darfour sprawled in camps along the Sudanese border in Eastern Chad, living conditions finally got a little better last week thanks to the opening of the new camp of Gaga, where engineers from international agency Oxfam managed to build an entire water system in record time.
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When Oxfam began its work in Kalma Camp, South Darfur, and began talking to the people living there, we realised that for many people, particularly the women, illiteracy was a major concern. As we began to find volunteers to help with our public health promotion campaign (the majority of whom are women) a number of them told us they were worried that they would not be able to do their work well if they could not write, but more than that, they wanted to learn to read and write so that in the future they might have more choices. Some simply wanted to be able to write their own names.
Alex Renton reports from the aftermath of the Sumatran earthquake on the remote island of Nias.
Praveena Shivram meets some of the farmers from Akaraivattam, on the Karaikal coast of Pondicherry employed by the Oxfam's cash-for-work programme where local men and women earn daily wages for debris removal from the village, leveling land and desilting irrigation canals, farm ponds and wells.
Village "Vadaku Poigai Nadutheru", Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu: What happens to families whose professions are circuitously linked to that of the fishing community? In this village, most of the families whose work revolved around the fishing community have been left bereft of work ever since the tsunami hit their coast on December 26, 2004.
Oxfam's Tsunami Emergency Appeal has been the most successful appeal in our history. As a result of the unprecedented public response in New Zealand and internationally, Oxfam's planned work is now almost fully funded, supporting a long-term programme to rebuild communities in the tsunami-affected region. Oxfam is working on the ground in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, the Maldives and Somalia, reaching 600,000 people.
The first casualty after the tsunami disaster was drinking water. We ran helter-skelter to this school when the waters rushed in early in the morning," recalls Daivani, sitting on a mat spread out on the grassy patch in the front yard of St Mary's High School. The school now functions as a camp for villagers of Colachel in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu.
One month after the tsunami. Today the schools reopened. 'Today was like the first day of life after being dead for a month. The schools have reopened for the first time today. Seeing the school children going back to school in their uniforms is the start of things going back to normal...it's like the foundation for the future. When I saw them I wanted to cry. You don't know what it means to us to see them going back to school. Seeing them gives us some hope...that if we don't do this for us we have to do this for the future. Batu loncatan pertama*.
Meet some of the Oxfam staff involved in the tsunami relief operations and see the camps housing displaced people.
Sreedevi Jacob reports from a number of displaced people camps organised by different religions and explains how Oxfam has been proactive to ensure that all the needy people receive relief from the government, irrespective of the ethnic background they belong to.