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Job opportunity!

Job opportunity! – 21 Jun 2017

Tearfund Ireland has a vacancy for one part time role and an Internship

Individual Donor & Events Coordinator

Tearfund Ireland is seeking a dynamic, highly driven individual to support growing our income to achieve greater impact in countries that face grinding poverty and suffering every day.

Are you someone who can help us cultivate and grow our income and support among Christians? Are you motivated by creating a community of people who give generously motivated by the belief that as the Church we are called to be ‘Salt and Light’ to those in greatest need? If so, we would like to hear from you!

Click here to download a full job description or you can call the office on 01 8783200 for more information!

This is a fixed term part-time role for an initial period of two years. Interested candidates should forward a letter of application and up to date Curriculum Vitae by 5pm July 14th to enquiries@tearfund.ie.
Interviews to be held on 7th July. Please also include an 800 word essay that completes the statement below in the context of convincing a potential new supporter to give to Tearfund Ireland’s work.

‘Through your generosity everything changes…’

Projects Finance Officer

Tearfund Ireland is seeking someone with a big heart for our work with a head for figures and details!

This is a new role to support the effective project grants management for Irish Aid Projects and other projects partnering with international and local partners. The position will also have a dynamic role in assisting in the mobilization of additional resources to overseas projects.

Click here to download a full job description or you can call the office on 01 8783200 for more information.

This is a fixed term part-time role for an initial period of three years. Interested candidates should forward a letter of application and up to date Curriculum Vitae by 5pm July 14th to enquiries@tearfund.ie

Social Media and Communications Intern

Are you a 21st Century Communicator? Do you consider yourself to be creative and in tune with a fast changing communications environment? Do you want to see the work of Tearfund Ireland become more known and supported because of our excellence and innovation in communications? Do you want to develop a career in social media and communications?

If so, then this is the right opportunity for you and we would like to hear from you!

Click here to download a full job description or you can call the office on 01 8783200 for more information!

This is a full time Internship with a monthly stipend and out of pocket expenses. To apply please email a CV, cover letter and a brief outline (max 500 words) on how you think you are
suited to this Internship to enquiries@tearfund.ie by 5pm July 14th.

Tearfund Ireland

Since our launch in 2008 Tearfund Ireland has grown rapidly and is working in twelve countries. We are supported by a wide network of churches and by the Irish government. We believe in maintaining the highest standard of professionalism throughout our work. We are Christians passionate about the local church bringing justice and transforming lives – overcoming global poverty. All our work is shaped by our values. We are committed to developing experts who are inspired, resourceful and courageous.

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Niamh, our Marketing and Communications Manager reflects on her time in Jordan

Niamh, our Marketing and Communications Manager reflects on her time in Jordan – 7 Jun 2017

I first want to say thank you – you are such a valuable part of Tearfund Ireland and all we do to bring the light of Christ to places where suffering is deeply felt. Our work matters to you and that’s why I am writing to tell you about my recent trip to Jordan in the Middle East. While some stories are deeply tragic, I know it will encourage you to hear what God is doing through Tearfund Ireland and how you can support our work. Jordan currently hosts a staggering 1½ million Syrian refugees – for a population of nine million that’s a huge kindness. Yet the suffering each refugee has endured can never be quantified. Almost all are mourning a family member or close friend, added to the loss of their home and country.

On my visit, I met an extremely courageous woman named Jaydah. She explained how, one morning, shortly after kissing her 12-year-old son goodbye, she heard an explosion and ran out to the street. First she found the body of her husband, followed by the bodies of her brother and the son she had just kissed. She wept as she described how their bodies were strewn on the pavement. Her 17-year-old son was also caught up in the explosion and his leg was badly injured. She tried to get him help, but he lost his leg. He sat next to her, staring at the ground, as she told their story. He didn’t go outside their apartment for over a year after they moved to Jordan. The trauma and grief overwhelmed him.

Ordinary Syrians like them are hurting the most in this conflict. Recently, Jaydah participated in a series of counselling sessions, which enabled her to open up for the first time about her experiences. The sessions are run by a local Tearfund partner, so local Jordanian volunteers are the trained facilitators. It is especially helpful for women like Jaydah to be cared for in this way by Jordanians as it helps them feel welcomed in Jordan.

During my visit, I also went to see a cash distribution to Syrian refugee women soon to give birth. Cash grants enable them to have their babies in one of Jordan’s hospitals and travel to and from hospital. It costs roughly €19 to ensure a mum in labour can cover the taxi fare of getting to hospital.

Now in its seventh year, the Syrian crisis has been going on longer than anyone could have imagined.

Tearfund Ireland is also responding to the crisis in South Sudan where famine was declared in February. Across East Africa it is estimated that 16 million people are in urgent need of food and safe water.
These crises are complex and require long term commitment.

If you are already giving regularly, would you consider increasing your monthly gift? Or if you would like to start giving regularly, please follow this link to find how you can become a regular giver. Or if you would like to make a once off donation please click here.

Please also keep this crisis in your prayers. Let’s ask our Heavenly Father to comfort and provide for the 65.3 million people around the world who are refugees. Thank you so much for your support.

Yours in Christ,

Niamh Daly
Marketing and Communications Manager
Tearfund Ireland

Photo: Niamh Daly, Tearfund Ireland. Jaydah talks to RTE journalist Della Kilroy about losing her husband, brother and young son in an explosion in Syria.

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Today - A Prayer for the World

Today - A Prayer for the World – 2 Jun 2017

Almighty God,

Thank you that we live in a country where we can speak to those in power without fear.

Thank you that no matter what happens you can work all things for your good and glory.

Protect our hearts, friends, families, communities and churches across the world as we experience disappointment with decisions made by others.

Protect our country as we undergo changes in our political leadership.
Protect our leaders and Government as they lead us.

Give our leaders wisdom and vision to govern well, overcoming poverty and injustice.
Give us the energy to play our part in society.
Give us vision of how we can continue to bring your Kingdom here.

Amen.

To join 24/7’s global prayer movement this weekend follow this link.

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Protecting families from being torn apart.

Protecting families from being torn apart. – 11 May 2017

Family First: Markus Köker, International Programmes Manager asks ‘How best to tackle the orphan challenge?’

The Bible often talks of God’s compassion for ‘the fatherless’ and his desire to set the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). Good families are places where children are protected, nurtured and provided for. In loving families, children learn important life skills and feel a sense of belonging. Growing up and living without a family greatly increases our vulnerability.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states: ‘The child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.’

Who is an orphan?

Unicef defines an orphan as a child who has lost one or both parents through death. According to Unicef, there are an estimated 140 million such orphans worldwide. But these statistics underestimate the problem and do not include ‘social orphans’. These are children and young adults who have lost any meaningful connection to their family. Social orphans include vulnerable children who may be living on the street, growing up in an orphanage or experiencing separation from their families due to trafficking, conflict or other issues.

In fact, millions of children known as orphans still have one surviving parent, grandparent or other family member. According to Save the Children, at least 80 per cent of children living in orphanages still have at least one parent alive.

Residential care and poverty

Residential care institutions (including orphanages and children’s homes) have often been seen as the answer to the orphan challenge, and many have been set up with the best of intentions. However, some orphanages are run as businesses, where the children are seen as a way of bringing in income. This has sometimes led to children being trafficked into institutions.

In developing countries, all too often poverty is the reason that children end up in orphanages. Parents or family members may believe that an orphanage will give their children food, shelter and education, which they would otherwise struggle to provide. These so-called ‘pull factors’ increase the number of children placed into residential care unnecessarily. For example, although the number of vulnerable children in Cambodia has decreased, the number of orphanages increased by 75 per cent between 2005 and 2010. But no orphanage can provide the care and nurture of a loving, supportive family.

Understanding the negative effects

Research has clearly shown that long-term institutional care is not in the best interests of children. It can negatively impact their lives in many different ways:

  • Serious delays in psychological and social development: Children lack the individual care and attention they need. They are less likely to develop the intellectual, physical, social and emotional skills appropriate for their age. They have less chance to learn the life skills they will need to live independently in the future.
  • Attachment problems: Children grow up with frequent changes in staff, volunteers and visitors. This means they do not develop the strong, lasting relationships they need.
  • Dependency mindset: In institutions, someone else is always responsible for meeting children’s basic needs and making decisions on their behalf. Children are not usually given opportunities to take responsibility for themselves based on a relationship of trust. This makes it harder for them to live independently as adults.
  • Trafficking and abuse: Many institutions do not have child protection policies and may not carry out background checks for visitors and staff. This puts children at risk of trafficking and physical and sexual abuse.
  • Separation from society: Children in residential care usually grow up separated from their family and community. They often struggle to rejoin the community when they leave.
  • Young people are very vulnerable when they leave residential care, and many institutions do not have strategies for supporting them through this process. A long-term study from Russia showed that one in five orphans leaving an institution turned to crime, one in seven fell into prostitution and one in ten committed suicide (Judith Harwin, Children of the Russian State 1917–1995).

A better way

The good news is that around the world people are beginning to realise there are better ways of caring for orphans and vulnerable children. There is a range of options:

  • Family strengthening: We can strengthen and support families, so that they do not place children in orphanages to begin with. This can include providing parenting classes, day care and income-generating activities. It is important to help parents realise that family is for life and that they can usually provide a better upbringing for their child than an orphanage can.
  • Reuniting children with their birth families: If it is possible and safe, the best option is to reunite children who are in residential care with their families. This involves trying to address the problems that led to their separation from the family, wherever possible.
  • Kinship care: If reuniting children with their birth families is not possible, kinship care is an option. Many orphans will have other family members who would be willing to care for them – aunts, uncles, grandparents, an older sibling or another member of the extended family. It is often possible to trace relatives and support them to care for the child.
  • Foster care: Foster care is when a family cares for a child who is not biologically related to them. Fostering can be a temporary measure while efforts are made to reunite children with their family. It can also be a longer-term option. In some countries it can be a way of providing a permanent family for a child.
  • Adoption: When it is not possible to reunite children with their family or relatives, adoption may be an option. This is when parents agree legally and permanently to care for a child who is not biologically their own. Adoption is easiest for the child when it happens within the child’s own country. International adoption is usually a more disruptive option, so the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child considers local adoption or foster care to be preferable.

There is sometimes a place for residential care (for example, this may be needed for a child in crisis while other options are being investigated). But in most cases this should be seen as a last resort and not as a long-term solution. If residential care is necessary for a time, it should be as ‘family-like’ as possible, in small group homes within the community rather than in large orphanages.

Those in charge of a child’s care should work through this range of alternative care options to see what is best for the child.

National policies are changing

A growing number of countries are now putting these ideas about alternative care into practice and making them their official policy. For example, in 2012 Cambodia announced a new policy aimed at keeping children out of institutions and preferring family-based care. As well as being better for children, these principles make good financial sense. In Uganda, for example, a study showed it costs up to 14 times more to run an orphanage than to care for children within the community (Unicef).

What can we do?

The church can play a powerful role in changing the way we care for orphans and vulnerable children. The World Without Orphans movement has united Christians, churches and organisations around the world to work together towards family-based care. Beginning in the Ukraine, it has initiated national movements in more than 26 countries. As a result of its work, the number of children being fostered or adopted locally has increased.

There is a number of things individuals, churches and organisations can do to improve orphan care. Individuals can consider becoming foster or adoptive parents, and encourage others to do the same. Churches can develop programmes to strengthen families and support orphans within their churches and communities. Directors of residential care centres can explore ways of transitioning to provide family and community strengthening services. We can all advocate to our governments for policies that prioritise family-based care. By uniting with others who have the same vision, we can work towards a world where every child has the chance to grow up within a loving family.

By: Markus Köker, International Programmes Manager, Tearfund Ireland

Tearfund Ireland is developing its niche area of expertise in Family First Alternative Care interventions and is currently supporting alternative care projects and family reunification in Cambodia and Zimbabwe.

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Join the Fashion Revolution

Join the Fashion Revolution – 27 Apr 2017

This week is Fashion Revolution week and we are asking our supporters to ask ‘#who made my clothes?’ The people who make our clothes are often not paid a fair and living wage, they can be forced to live and work in unsafe and hazardous conditions. The campaign Fashion Revolution was started when over 1000 people were killed in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in April 2013.

This campaign, started by fashion designers who are passionate about both fashion and people calls on everyone working in the fashion industry to ensure that they run their businesses ethically. That they ensure that safety, protection and fair wages are visible throughout all of their supply chains right down to the workers who sew and produce the clothes, often in countries far from our local high street store where we buy our clothes.

Tearfund Ireland supports Fashion Revolution week and needs you to hold your favourite stores to account. To make sure that they are producing ethical clothing, that they are paying their factory workers a fair wage and are ensuring their safety and health. Often times the people forced to work in clothing factories in unsafe conditions, earning a meagre wage are those who are the most poor, the most vulnerable and the ones with the least choice. The people that Tearfund Ireland serve.

So find your most favourite piece of clothing, take a photo of it, check what shop you bought it from and ask them who made it. You can Tweet them, send them an email or a Facebook message. Ask them over Instagram-whatever works for you. But don’t let this week go by without asking this really important question- “Who Made My Clothes?”

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For more information go to the Fashion Revolution website.

For more info on what is happening in Ireland this week visit Fashion Revolution Ireland.

For an ethical guide to your favourite brands visit our friends at Tearfund New Zealand.

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Stories from Syria

Stories from Syria – 4 Apr 2017

Jaydah is a Syrian refugee living in Jordan since 2013. She was married when she was 13 years old and her son Muhammad was born a year later, she is now 45 and Muhammad is 21. Muhammad lost his leg in an explosion that also took the life of his father, 12 year old younger brother and his uncle. The explosion was near their home in Syria early in the morning when they were on their way to work .

‘My 12 year old son wanted to work with his father that day so I let him go. When I heard the explosion I ran out to the street and I saw their bodies on the ground, first my husband, than my bother and then my son, there were bodies everywhere’.  

Jaydah carried Muhammad to the hospital in her arms to try to save his leg but they could only provide basic first aid. A month later Jaydah left Syria and moved to Jordan. Jaydah now lives in Madaba which is about 40 minutes from the capital Amman with Muhammad, her daughter and her younger son.

‘Muhammad didn’t leave the house for a whole year after we arrived here. I used to cut his hair myself because he wouldn’t go outside. He is doing better now but he doesn’t have any friends.’

Jaydah describes Muhammad as a ‘bright boy’ and she would love to get him a computer. Muhammad is her main concern. The family survive on the small income her younger son gets from working at a local bakery and some cooking that Jaydah does.

Last week, Jaydah and her daughter attended a trauma care workshop in Madaba supported by Tearfund. This was the first time that Jaydah got to share her story with others about what had happened to them in Syria and to meet other Syrian women who live close to them. At the workshop she learned about coping with grief, how trauma can impact families and what to do if they are experiencing violence at home. Jaydah spoke about the relief she felt in being able to share her story with others and how she would like to attend more workshops and thought it would be good if there were workshops for everyone in the family.  

To donate to our Refugee Crisis Appeal please follow this link

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