As 2018 draws to a close we reflect on a year of humanitarian need, met once again by overwhelming generosity from our supporters. Thank you!

Across Australia and the world, citizens and communities stood in solidarity with refugees and demanded their protection.

UNHCR’s With Refugees petition garnered two million signatures, demanding that governments protect refugee rights. Closer to home, we were proud to join the #KidsOffNauru coalition, which mobilised a nationwide movement that has so far seen over 100 refugee children evacuated from Nauru.

The global headlines can be overwhelming. But it all comes down to people. Every intervention, however small, changes a life.

I often think of Immaculata, a refugee mother I met in Uganda who makes beautiful beaded keyrings for us to give donors when they first join. You may have received one yourself. When I first met Immaculata a few years ago, she and her children were sleeping in the streets after fleeing the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Today this simple social enterprise has empowered her to become self-reliant and restored her dignity, enabling her to secure accommodation and send her children to school. But she isn’t stopping there. This year she bought a grain milling machine and has hired two refugees to start a new business.

Every day and every hour, UNHCR teams protect refugees like Immaculata. From an aid convoy to a tiny, besieged village in Syria, to helping a Rohingya family strengthen their shelter ahead of monsoon. Every action means a few more refugees feel safe and regain control over their lives.

On behalf of all the men, women and children you have helped protect this year, a heartfelt thank you.

And from all of us at Australia for UNHCR, our best wishes for the festive season ahead.

Naomi Steer
National Director

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