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Prudential Ride London – Surrey 100

July 23, 2019

This 100-mile route is on fully closed roads, taking in parts of the Olympic road race route. The ride starts in the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, then follows the closed roads through the capital and onto Surrey’s stunning country roads and hills. This is a fantastic race, and we would love to have you […]

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This 100-mile route is on fully closed roads, taking in parts of the Olympic road race route. The ride starts in the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, then follows the closed roads through the capital and onto Surrey’s stunning country roads and hills.

This is a fantastic race, and we would love to have you on the IRT team! Registration is £50 and we ask that you pledge to raise a minimum of £500 in fundraising.

We will be with you every step of the way, from helping you with your fundraising and sponsorship to cheering you on during the race.

For more information, please email info@irt.org.uk or call Jessica on 020 8994 9120.

Book a place

Registration fee £50


1989

July 23, 2019

Jessica Eames 30 years ago, in 1989, the International Refugee Trust (IRT) was founded, and it was certainly an important year in history. People in the Western world may remember the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ‘man v tank’ in Tiananmen Square (pictured), the execution of Ted Bundy, Nintendo releasing its ‘Game Boy’, the […]

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Jessica Eames

30 years ago, in 1989, the International Refugee Trust (IRT) was founded, and it was certainly an important year in history. People in the Western world may remember the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ‘man v tank’ in Tiananmen Square (pictured), the execution of Ted Bundy, Nintendo releasing its ‘Game Boy’, the release of the very first Microsoft office, the first ever GPS satellite put into orbit, plus many other historical events.

A few years before that, in 1985, the world was watching just how charitable the UK could be during the ‘Live Aid’ concert, one of the most defining events of the 80’s. Nearly 40% of the world’s population watched numerous legendary bands and artists perform at Wembley, free of charge, to help Bob Geldof raise funds for relief of the Ethiopian famine. During the concert, we were exposed to harrowing footage of starving Ethiopian children, suffering, and gasping for sustenance in their millions. These images were accompanied by an emotional soundtrack of ‘Drive’ by The Cars, which can be remembered by all who watched it as a distressful and upsetting moment of the broadcast.

For some of us, it was the first time we were exposed to such shocking images. Some of us were not even aware of the famine in Ethiopia, but Geldof’s humanitarian act had a huge impact on the nation, raising over £40 million globally. Geldof insisted that half the money raised was spent on long term development and the other half on food.

Furthermore, Geldof raised awareness of the terrible suffering around the world. He showed us that as a First World country, we were able to help these people, by donating and fundraising. The nation proved that, collectively, we can help less fortunate people, thousands of miles away, to survive and rebuild their lives. This is something we should be very proud of.

A few years later in 1989, an Irish Missionary Priest, Fr. Kevin Doheny, founded the International Refugee Trust in Chiswick. His aim was like that of Geldof’s, helping vulnerable refugees and displaced people around the world and raising awareness of how war and conflict have destroyed the lives of so many families overseas.

Over the last 30 years, IRT have helped thousands of refugees all over the world in countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Thailand, Cambodia, and Jordan.

Bob Geldof’s ‘Live Aid’ was in aid of the Ethiopian famine which took place approximately 10 years into the Ethiopian Civil War. It is thought that this famine was because of war, conflict and government policies relating to agriculture. The refugees that IRT help are in a similar position, as a result of war and conflict in their home countries.

Today, IRT are helping thousands of refugees overseas, who are innocent victims of war and conflict. In some of the countries where IRT work, the conflict has been resolved, but there are still millions of people who are displaced and have been forced to leave their homes with nothing but the shirt on their back.

With thanks to our incredible supporters, we have been able to sustain our vital work for the last 30 years. When the media and large charities have moved on from an initial crisis overseas, IRT stays to continue supporting projects. These projects help refugees to live sustainably and rebuild their lives, ending their poverty and suffering. Read more about how IRT achieves this through our StepUp programmes in Uganda, one of our many projects overseas (www.irt.org.uk).

IRT will be holding a series of events over the course of the year to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Please keep an eye on our news page for updates.

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“Finish your dinner!”

July 23, 2019

Jessica Eames Jessica is the Fundraising manager at IRT, and shares why she chose to join IRT and support overseas refugees: “Finish your dinner! There are starving children in Africa!” That’s what my mother would bark at me as a child when I refused to finish my dinner! “Well why don’t you put my dinner […]

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Jessica Eames

Jessica is the Fundraising manager at IRT, and shares why she chose to join IRT and support overseas refugees:

“Finish your dinner! There are starving children in Africa!”

That’s what my mother would bark at me as a child when I refused to finish my dinner! “Well why don’t you put my dinner in an envelope, and send it to them then”, a cheeky adolescent Jess would reply.

In hindsight, I’m not sure how an envelope with my leftover sausage, potato waffles and beans, would help a starving child in Africa. The beans would leak everywhere, and I imagine the food would rot somewhat during transit, so in fact, would probably do the starving children more bad than good!

80’s kids dinner
Fast forward 35 years, and I finally realise the point my mother was attempting to make. My mother is Spanish, and the most amazing cook (I would walk a million miles for her meatballs!). I know we all say that about our mum’s cooking, but she really is! She worked very hard, whilst bringing up three noisy, opinionated daughters, often fighting over whose turn it was to play ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ on the Casio keyboard. On occasions, when she only had 15 minutes to make the family meal, she would make the standard 80’s, kids’ dinner. My siblings and I were spoilt with delicious and nutritious meals so often, that I would turn my nose up at potato waffles. My mother is a charitable humanitarian at heart, so it must have been so frustrating and disappointing to see her daughters behave in such an ungrateful manner.

So why was she harping on about starving African children? She wanted me to appreciate the food in front of me. She wanted me to know that not all children around the world are fortunate enough to be presented with a delicious plate of food, three times a day. I’m not that precocious child anymore. I appreciate what I have now, and I want to help those less fortunate than myself.

Send your left over sausages to…
Sending your left-over sausages to the African children is not the answer. At IRT, we teach refugee families in Uganda how to support themselves, through our successful StepUp programme. We teach them farming techniques, so they can grow enough food to eat and sell. How to look after livestock. We dig boreholes to provide clean water. We teach families how important education is, and how important it is to keep their children healthy, not just for survival, but so they are fit enough to attend school every day and build a future for themselves.

Many girls are taken out of school at a very young age and married off to a 50-year-old man, or even warlords, in exchange for the ‘bride price’. The poverty is so extreme in some parts of Uganda, that refugees will resort to selling their daughters in order to feed the rest of the family. In fact 1 in 2 girls are married before the age of 18.

You can help them by donating. Your money will help to support these families, teaching them to grow, nurture, clean, teach, learn and survive. These refugees are regular people just like you and me, they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The only difference between them and us, is that we got lucky.

Read more about IRT’s successful StepUp programme in Uganda.


Why do we support Syrian refugees?

July 23, 2019

Jessica Eames IRT’s CEO Steve Smith talks about why we should support Syrian refugees: What’s the problem? The civil war in Syria has resulted in a refugee situation on a catastrophic scale. In 2016, from an estimated pre-war population of 22 million, the UN identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring humanitarian assistance, of which more than […]

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Jessica Eames

IRT’s CEO Steve Smith talks about why we should support Syrian refugees:

What’s the problem?

The civil war in Syria has resulted in a refugee situation on a catastrophic scale. In 2016, from an estimated pre-war population of 22 million, the UN identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring humanitarian assistance, of which more than 6 million were internally displaced within Syria, and around 5 million had fled the country as refugees (UNOCHA report , 16 Feb 16). The vast majority of refugees have fled to neighbouring countries, such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, where most live below the poverty line. Unemployment and low wages are the norm. Many rely on less sustainable sources of income, food vouchers, credit or borrowing money, mostly from friends and relatives. Falling into debt is common. For this reason, refugees face difficulties in accessing services and in providing food, housing, healthcare and other basic needs for their families.

No home to go to
To those of us living in peaceful, developed countries, refugees are often viewed with suspicion or aversion – as if it’s their fault that they are in their present situation. The truth is that the majority are just people like us. In their former lives they may have been doctors, lawyers, accountants, factory workers, shopkeepers, office clerks, social workers or farmers. To put their situation in context, one might imagine going on holiday with the family from England to a foreign country, then receiving a phone call, mid-vacation, to say that you can never come home. Ever. Your home has been destroyed and the area taken over by people who will kill you on sight. Now you have to survive, with whatever you have in your suitcases, and whatever savings you may have. If you can access them, and if you bank is still able to operate.

How we help
It is people like this that International Refugee Trust is trying to help, through its support of the two ‘Italian Hospitals’, located at Amman and Karak, in Jordan. Established some 90 years ago to treat the poor and refugees, these hospitals are now facing unprecedented demand. But the staff simply will not give up. As one of the Missionary Sisters said to IRT, ‘This is now our new normal.’ Surely no cause could be more worthy of our support.

Read more about how IRT’s projects help Syrian refugee’s in Jordan.


Fenwick Elliott holds charity football cup in aid of IRT

July 23, 2019

The Fenwick Elliott Charity Cup 2019 took place on Friday 5th July 2019 in aid of IRT, taking place at Powerleague in Shoreditch. The five-a-side tournament featured seven budding teams made up of the law firm’s clients. The event is a fantastic annual fundraising initiative by Fenwick Elliott LLP, a highly respected London based law […]

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The Fenwick Elliott Charity Cup 2019 took place on Friday 5th July 2019 in aid of IRT, taking place at Powerleague in Shoreditch. The five-a-side tournament featured seven budding teams made up of the law firm’s clients. The event is a fantastic annual fundraising initiative by Fenwick Elliott LLP, a highly respected London based law firm which specialises in construction and energy law.

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Photo: The tournament in full flow.


The day was a huge success, with teams paying an entry fee to enter and all the proceeds kindly being donated to IRT. Despite the fierce competition on the pitch, the teams were able to enjoy pizza together afterwards. They were all competing for the prized trophies which were presented to both the winners and runners up at the end of the tournament. Our CEO, Steve Smith MBE, gave a fascinating speech preceding the prizegiving outlining the incredible work IRT undertakes, rebuilding the lives of refugees overseas.

IRT’s trustee Robbie McCrea is a Senior Associate at Fenwick Elliott and we are thrilled that this connection led to IRT being placed at the heart of the charity cup. Fundraising events like these help IRT to help even more refugees whose lives have been torn apart by war and conflict.

WE WOULD THEREFORE LIKE TO GIVE A MASSIVE THANK YOU TO FENWICK ELLIOTT FOR PUTTING ON THIS WONDERFUL EVENT, THE PROCEEDS OF WHICH ARE REALLY GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO OUR PROJECTS ABROAD. MR STEVEN SMITH MBE, CEO AT IRT.

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International Refugee Trust lifts Ugandan villages out of poverty

July 23, 2019

We are pleased to announce the completion of our very first StepUp project (StepUp 001) in northern Uganda. The project aims to enable impoverished farmers to become self-sufficient, improving their quality of life both financially as well as in strengthening community ties – AND IT WORKS! Please take a look at this fantastic video from […]

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We are pleased to announce the completion of our very first StepUp project (StepUp 001) in northern Uganda. The project aims to enable impoverished farmers to become self-sufficient, improving their quality of life both financially as well as in strengthening community ties – AND IT WORKS! Please take a look at this fantastic video from our partner (OCA) and some of the StepUp 001 families in Uganda.

We have a further 4 ongoing StepUp projects and expect them to do just as well as this one. If you would like to donate to the StepUp projects please visit our website https://www.irt.org.uk/donate – thank you.


Sir Terry Wogan’s interview with IRT’s founder Fr. Kevin Doheny

July 23, 2019

International Refugee Trust is proudly celebrating 30 years of supporting refugees overseas. IRT was founded by Father Kevin Doheny back in 1989 who worked tirelessly to help refugees all over the world. In 1989, Fr Doheny had already been an activist for refugees for 20 years, and was working hard to raise awareness of extreme […]

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International Refugee Trust is proudly celebrating 30 years of supporting refugees overseas. IRT was founded by Father Kevin Doheny back in 1989 who worked tirelessly to help refugees all over the world. In 1989, Fr Doheny had already been an activist for refugees for 20 years, and was working hard to raise awareness of extreme poverty in the world caused by war, conflict, persecution and famine.

In this interview from December 1990, Fr Doheny talks to the legendary Sir Terry Wogan about his life, his work with Mother Theresa and why he chose this vocation to help refugees around the world.

International Refugee Trust is still going strong, improving the lives of refugees, internally displaced people (IDP) and returnees around the world. IRT is there when the big agencies move on. Read more about IRT’s current projects.


Students Win place in ‘One World Challenge’ final with IRT

July 23, 2019

International Refugee Trust is proud to announce that a group of students from Ballerkermeen High School, Isle of Man, have been chosen to go through to the grand final of ‘One World Charity Challenge’. Year 12 students Siân Beale, Marie Tulbo, Carmela Pabellan, Jenny Hill and Aaron Kaneen, chose to represent IRT and gave an […]

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International Refugee Trust is proud to announce that a group of students from Ballerkermeen High School, Isle of Man, have been chosen to go through to the grand final of ‘One World Charity Challenge’. Year 12 students Siân Beale, Marie Tulbo, Carmela Pabellan, Jenny Hill and Aaron Kaneen, chose to represent IRT and gave an outstanding presentation about IRT’s work. All of their hard work paid off, and they won a place in the grand final on the 27th March 2019.

‘One World Charity Challenge’ is sponsored by AFD Software Ltd and coordinated by the One World Centre, Isle of Man. The Challenge sets out to give Year-12 students a greater understanding of the developing world through researching the work of a charity working overseas. Students, working in teams, are challenged to choose a charity working overseas, which is either Manx registered or a small UK based charity, then research the work and interview representatives of that charity. They must then create a 10-12 minute multi-media presentation which examines the effectiveness of their chosen charity, shows cultural understanding and looks at the impact the charity has had on someone’s life.

All finalists are guaranteed a grant of a minimum of £500 for their chosen charity, and the winning presentation at the grand final will win their chosen charity a whopping £3,500 grant.

WE AT IRT ARE DELIGHTED TO BE REPRESENTED BY SUCH A PASSIONATE AND TALENTED GROUP OF STUDENTS. THEIR COMMITMENT TO OUR CAUSE IS BOTH INSPIRING AND HEART-WARMING AND WE WISH THEM THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY GOOD LUCK AT THE ‘ONE WORLD CHARITY CHALLENGE’ FINAL ON 27TH MARCH.” – STEVE SMITH MBE – CEO AT IRT

For more information about the challenge, please visit the ‘One World Charity Challenge‘ website.

Charity Challenge update

Congratulations to our incredibly talented team from Ballerkermeen High School, Siân Beale, Marie Tulbo, Carmela Pabellan, Jenny Hill and Aaron Kaneen who came third in the One World Charity Challenge on 27th March 2019, and won IRT a £1,600 grant! The students also raised an additional £250 in fundraising. We are so very proud of them and thank them, and the One World charity for their incredible support.

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Registration now open!

July 23, 2019
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