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IRT CHRISTMAS CARDS ON SALE NOW!

November 19, 2020

All designs come in packs of 10 costing £5.50 per pack including P&P. All packs include 10 envelopes. There are several ways to place your order: By email: Please fill in the below form, and email your order to [email protected] Please include your phone number, and a member of IRT staff will call you to […]

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All designs come in packs of 10 costing £5.50 per pack including P&P. All packs include 10 envelopes.

There are several ways to place your order:

By email: Please fill in the below form, and email your order to [email protected]. Please include your phone number, and a member of IRT staff will call you to take payment over the phone.

By phone: Please call 0782 566 1993 to place your order over the phone.

By post: Please print your completed order form, and send with a cheque made payable to ‘International Refugee Trust’, to International Refugee Trust, 11 Heathfield Terrace, Chiswick, W4 4JE.

Please click on the link below to download, print and fill in the order form:


StepUp: Producing Crops in a Pandemic

November 9, 2020

Olivia Garner IRT’s new volunteer, Olivia Garner, explores how StepUp communities have been coping with the Ugandan lockdown As England enters another national lockdown, the challenges of Covid-19 are fresh in the national consciousness. As the pandemic draws on, the long-term and economic effects are becoming main concerns, not just nationally but globally. IRT’s StepUp […]

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Olivia Garner

IRT’s new volunteer, Olivia Garner, explores how StepUp communities have been coping with the Ugandan lockdown

As England enters another national lockdown, the challenges of Covid-19 are fresh in the national consciousness. As the pandemic draws on, the long-term and economic effects are becoming main concerns, not just nationally but globally.

IRT’s StepUp programme, in partnership with the Organisation for Community Action (OCA) in Uganda, helps support farmers to improve their livelihoods and achieve sustainable development. Farming communities are provided with training in technical agricultural skills as well as training in sanitation and hygiene and gender equality. But how have StepUp participants been coping in the face of Covid-19 and lockdown?

Those with small businesses selling agricultural products in town have suffered the most, as local markets closed down. This greatly affected small businesses and households relying on agriculture as their main source of income. Furthermore, with the markets closed, food prices rocketed.

Speaking to OCA’s trained experts on the ground, Christine from the Aboloneno Village, said, “At the beginning when we heard about the COVID-19 pandemic, we were very scared by the global death rate as aired out through a local radio. I used to do a business of selling fresh cassava in Lira town but because of the lockdown, I stopped for a while. This affected our daily source of income and survival since the little savings we had was spent on feeding and meeting other basic needs for the family members.”

Christine continues, “We therefore concentrated more on farming. We have planted rice, tomatoes and soya beans for co-operative business and other food crops. After harvest we intend to sell the produce and use the money to roof our house”.

Faustina, of Adaganii Village, has also found a way forward through agricultural work, especially with her grandchildren around to help out. Faustina testified that Covid-19 created a lot of fear among her and her family members. She said that the lockdown limited her movement which prevented her from seeing her children and other relatives whom she misses a lot. She told IRT, “As an old woman I want to see my children and relatives as it gives me strength to move on with life. This virus has affected my grand children’s education because they are back home and I don’t know when they will go back to school.” However, amidst all the challenges brought by Covid-19, Faustina has turned her fear into hope. She diverted all her attention to farming which she believes will produce high yields due to the agricultural practices and skills training received through the StepUp programme. She has planted maize, groundnuts, beans, millet, cassava and onions for food and commercial purposes.

Faustina stands in her Maize garden, excited about the good performance of the crop. She plans to use the money from the harvest for constructing a house.

Overall, the Covid-19 lockdown has brought unprecedented challenges to farming communities in rural northern Uganda. Through the StepUp programme, farmers have been helped to improve their crop yields in order to sell their crops, as well as gain self-sufficiency, helping them to overcome rocketing food prices. Savings gained through increased incomes also help to protect them from the adverse economic effects of the pandemic. However, as the pandemic shows few signs of abating, these farmers need our support more than ever to face the continued challenges of Covid-19 and sustain their livelihoods.

IRT needs donors to be able to continue our valuable work.

If you would like to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable farmers in northern Uganda, please consider donating today. You can do this through our website at https://www.irt.org.uk/donate/ or by calling our office on 020 8994 9120. Thank you!


Donate with Dumbbells

September 18, 2020

IRT are thrilled with our kind donation from ‘Donate with Dumbbells’! Over the course of lockdown, it seems that everyone became familiar with Zoom video calls. Some of the healthier among us even dipped our toes in Zoom workouts and fitness training! While leading these sorts of sessions, fitness trainer Praniel Doolabh had an idea; […]

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IRT are thrilled with our kind donation from ‘Donate with Dumbbells’!

Over the course of lockdown, it seems that everyone became familiar with Zoom video calls. Some of the healthier among us even dipped our toes in Zoom workouts and fitness training! While leading these sorts of sessions, fitness trainer Praniel Doolabh had an idea; he wanted to combine his passion for leading fitness classes with charitable fundraising. From there, ‘Donate with Dumbbells’ was born.

Praniel runs free ‘Donate with Dumbbells’ sessions every week, where he encourages participants to donate money to a good cause. On Saturday 12th September, participants donated a total of £160 towards IRT, all of which will go directly towards helping the vulnerable refugees and displaced people we support overseas. We are so grateful to everyone who took part for your generosity during such a challenging year.

Praniel came up with the idea after reflecting on how some us are more fortunate to keep our jobs as so many others face uncertainty.

He tells IRT “I was inspired to use my passion for fitness to support those less fortunate… We have raised proceeds in support of Black Lives Matter, education, cancer, food distribution, the Yemen crisis, the Lebanon blast, the Mauritius oil spill and many others.”

Getting fit for a good cause

The sessions consist of a full body workout comprising of HIIT, upper body, lower body and abs. No equipment is required, however dumbbells or resistance bands are optional additions. Sessions are always designed to provide exercise variations from beginner to intermediate level. If you are interested in participating or learning more about ‘Donate with Dumbbells’, please follow the Instagram handle @‘donate.with.dumbbells’ or visit the Facebook page ‘Donate with Dumbbells’.

IRT would like to once again offer our huge thanks to Praneil Dooblagh and all of his sporty participants for your fundraising efforts. Their selfless ingenuity is so inspiring to see and will really make a difference to our vital, life-saving projects across Jordan, Uganda, South Sudan and Tanzania.


IRT Update – News from IRT regarding COVID-19

March 17, 2020

Dear Partners and Friends of IRT, As you will be aware, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has had a massive impact on countries all over the world.  The situation in the UK has worsened and yesterday our government made an announcement regarding keeping safe and preventing the spread of the virus.  We have taken their advice, […]

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Dear Partners and Friends of IRT,

As you will be aware, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has had a massive impact on countries all over the world.  The situation in the UK has worsened and yesterday our government made an announcement regarding keeping safe and preventing the spread of the virus. 

We have taken their advice, and all London IRT staff will now be working remotely from home.  We will not be present in the office until further notice.  We are still using our usual irt.org email addresses and phone numbers, so please do contact us should you have any queries or would like to make a donation at [email protected]

We are working our usual hours, but there may be a slight delay in responding to your messages. 

We appreciate your cooperation and patience, we will try to keep things running as smoothly as possible in this difficult time, and will continue to support our various projects overseas as usual.

On behalf of everybody at IRT, please be safe and we hope to be back to normal as soon as possible.


‘London Is Open’ at Chestnut Grove Academy, Balham

August 21, 2019

IRT was recently asked to speak at the ‘London Is Open’ event at the Chestnut Grove Academy in Balham, London, which was attended by 190 students from Year 7. The aim was to discuss the experiences of immigrants and refugees in order to help combat prejudice and discrimination. The event followed a ‘speed dating’ format, […]

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IRT was recently asked to speak at the ‘London Is Open’ event at the Chestnut Grove Academy in Balham, London, which was attended by 190 students from Year 7. The aim was to discuss the experiences of immigrants and refugees in order to help combat prejudice and discrimination. The event followed a ‘speed dating’ format, with the speakers sitting at individual tables and groups of around eight students rotating through for 15 minutes at a time. IRT’s CEO, Steve Smith, and Fundraising Manager, Jessica Eames, spoke to each group about the families that IRT supports overseas, telling stories of their plight in Uganda, South Sudan, Jordan and Tanzania.

Assistant Head, Jo Taylor-Campbell, who is also Head of Department Health, Philosophy, Beliefs and Ethics and Psychology, organised the event. She explained:

‘One of the greatest things about living in London is its diversity. However, not everybody is treated equally, and this is something that must be challenged. We take this task very seriously as a school and ensure that all teachers in all subjects address issues relating to equality and discrimination. We hope that this event will inspire students to take on their own forms of activism and help the vulnerable in society in whatever way they can.’

Several other charities and organisations also spoke at the event, including the Metropolitan Police and immigrants who had recently moved to the UK. The speakers discussed various topics, including the Windrush scandal and the recent spike in hate crimes against immigrants.

IRT’s Jessica Eames said of the event:

‘This is such a fantastic and unique way of educating students about the immigrant and refugee crisis in the world. I was so impressed with the Year 7 students at the Chestnut Academy who were completely engaged and genuinely interested in the subjects we spoke about, asking questions and taking notes as we spoke. The students were incredibly respectful, polite and welcoming to all of the speakers present, it was a real pleasure to spend the afternoon with them.’

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IRT would like to thank the teachers and the students at Chestnut Academy and congratulate them on the fantastic work they do.

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If you would like a member of IRT to talk at your school, please get in touch [email protected]


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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