Here’s How You Can Make an Impact on the Life of a Young Refugee Woman
For many in the U.S., 15 is an age where girls can focus on exams, enjoy extracurriculars, study for their drivers’ tests, and prepare for the rest of their lives. For Walaa, an 18-year-old Syrian refugee, her life – and the lives of those forced into similar situations – was devastatingly different at that age.
Forced to flee her native country of Syria, Walaa came to Lebanon and got married about 10 months later in the interest of safety. “We lived in a region [of Syria] where the missiles and bombs were coming to us because soldiers and protesters were attacking each other,” said Walaa. “I would have chosen education over getting married outside of the war, but it’s the husband who protects.”
Held every year on June 20th, World Refugee Day recognizes the unspeakable daily realities that forced migrants like Walaa face, and encourages the rest of the world to share their strength and support.
It’s easy to despair at stories like Walaa’s. After all, how is it possible to help someone across the world? Here’s where you – yes, you – can come in to make a difference – with just $25.
On Kiva.org, compassionate, everyday people can make a huge difference in others’ lives by lending small contributions – as little as $25 – one project at a time. Visitors to the site browse through individual profiles and stories and choose the entrepreneurial projects they want to lend to – and that money can do anything from help the borrower start their own business, go to school, access clean energy and realize their full potential. Kiva partners with organizations on the ground in countries all around the world (called Field Partners) – and allot funds to them that the Field Partners loan out. Another great thing? Once the borrower’s loan is repaid, that money can be lent to another project, then another, and then another. $25 goes a long way – and you can see where.
The organization launched a World Refugee Fund to empower refugees around the world by providing microloans for specific needs, from education to business funding to medical needs (see some refugee projects needing loans here).
Walaa is pregnant now, and with her Kiva loan, she pays for winter expenses like food, living needs, rent and heat. In the near future, she hopes to get an education and start a business.
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