Concern asks public to Step in the Shoes of the world’s displaced people this September

South Sudan Women Walking
South Sudan Women Walking

Concern Worldwide is encouraging people to put on their runners and get out walking in solidarity with the 79.5 million people worldwide forced to leave their homes due to conflict or persecution in 2019.

From 21st to 27th September, Step in Their Shoes challenges people to walk 10,000 steps a day for seven days in support of refugees and internally displaced people, many of whom will have walked for days on end just to reach safety. The money raised will help support Concern’s work with displaced people.

Concern’s Director of International Programmes, Anne O’Mahony said, “It’s not just material items that are lost when people flee their homes, it’s loved ones. Husbands, wives, children, grandparents can go missing or die on the journey to get to safety; whether it’s from ill health, exhaustion or dangerous situations. What they need when they reach that relatively safe place is to know that they are safe and that there are people there to help.”

Some 68 per cent of the world’s forcibly displaced people come from just five countries. Concern is working in and with people from four of those; Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Rohingya people in Bangladesh who fled violence in Myanmar.

Concern’s work with Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq ranges from providing psycho-social support, helping them find secure and appropriate accommodation, and skills training.

Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh is home to almost 900,000 Rohingya people. Concern is supporting them through its nutrition programmes, food assistance and by providing household and shelter kits.

In Afghanistan Concern is providing tents, warm clothes, winterisation and non-food item kits (cups, plates, cooking pots, feminine hygiene items) and cash-for-work for those fleeing an upsurge in conflict in the northeast of the country.

In South Sudan Concern’s work involves shelter distribution, providing hygiene facilities such as latrines and baths, child nutrition and food distribution.

In addition to these areas Concern works with refugees and displaced people in many countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. By getting out walking and raising funds, those who sign up to Step in Their Shoes are doing their bit to support and help people who have lost nearly everything.

Step in Their Shoes is a new event for Concern. Co-ordinator, Anika Patel said: “Every day we work with people who are forced to flee their homes because of conflict or persecution. Step In Their Shoes is about the journey they’ve made physically and emotionally. Nobody chooses to be displaced. By signing up and committing to walk 10,000 steps a day you’re showing your solidarity and raising vital funds to help support our work.”

In 2019 Concern helped 28.6 million people in 24 countries, an increase of 4.4 million people on the year previous. It spent €163,284,000 on overseas programmes.

To find out more and sign up for the Step in Their Shoes Challenge go to concern.net/step

For media queries contact Eilis Staunton, Media Relations officer on 085 872 0720 or eilis.staunton@concern.net

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