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Ockenden International

26th November 2003

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Ockenden GirlThere are 50 million refugees and displaced persons in the world. Many will be helped by the British charity Ockenden International (OI).

From helping displaced people in Cambodia find homes, to coming up with practical solutions to help refugees support themselves, OI has worked all over the world.

Neil Young has lived on the border of Cambodia and Thailand for nine years and has seen poverty and violence first hand. There are no teachers and the school building isn't finished. There are land mines everywhere, which need to be cleared.

However, much work is being carried out to help rebuilt the country and its communities.

OI has come up with many practical solutions, such as in Cambodia where there is a scheme called 'The Cow Bank'. Each person is given a cow for a year. They then give it back at the end of the year, and it goes to the next person who needs it. Without a cow, all the work has to be done by hand which is extremely time consuming.

Other schemes in Cambodia include dress making, vehicle maintenance and secretarial skills classes. These initiatives are designed to stop the thousands of Cambodians who head each year to Thailand to find cheap labour.

Run Sey Ngoy, project director in Cambodia hit on this idea when she saw a woman actually trying to sell her own daughter for money. By teaching new skills means the people can be self-sufficient.

Ockenden LogoIn Uganda, another OI project is teaching skills to Sudanese refugees. The Ugandan Project Coordinator, Sylvia Awar has recently been teaching people fishing and marketing, as well as providing them with fishing equipment.

This has resulted in there being a fish market on the River Nile selling freshly caught fish by Sudanese refugees.

In the Magburu settlement in Uganda there are around 200,000 Sudan refugees. In the school there are 700 pupils, 500 of whom are refugees. Only seven of the 18 teachers have any training. OI has provided the school and continues to work improving facilities.

The British public are vital to Ockenden International. OI needs money and volunteers to survive.

Organisations

Ockenden International
Works in countries with complex political situations where there are long-term displaced´┐Żpeople in need of support - their plight often forgotten about by the wider international community.

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