Our impact

At a time when record numbers are fleeing their homes, we help millions of people every year. Each one of them has a story.


Saving lives

When disaster hits, an entire town of people can flee their homes in a matter of days. That’s why our emergency specialists, and our standby roster of experts NORCAP, deploy whenever crisis strikes. We come equipped, sometimes working 24/7, to offer lifelines that help families get back on their feet. 

Kanchhi Gole (30) had to run through a combined landslide and earthquake with her then three-month-old daughter Phurba (1) when the earthquake hit Nepal in April last year. (2015) Her husband was in the fields. They lost everything. Since then they have been living in Selang IDP-camp. 
"The landslide burried everything. It was so scary. Our home was destroyed. This place is safer. There are aftershocks, but we are not really scared. We are just worried that the snow will bury us, because the roof is not strong enough to hold the weight of the snow", she says. 
NORCAP experts working with IOM have distributed tents and tarps, and blankets to help shield against the cold. But the IDPs would like corrugated iron sheets for their roofs, to keep the snow out. 
"We don't have enough warm clothes. I only have two sets of clothes for my daughter. We are suffering, but at least we are alive. There is no other option", she says. (Photo: NORCAP/Kishor Sharma)
Read caption "The landslide buried everything. It was so scary… We are suffering, but at least we are alive.” Kanchhi Gole had to flee when an earthquake hit Nepal in April 2015. She is now living in Selang camp, Nepal. Photo: NORCAP/Kishor Sharma


Preserving dignity

The displaced people we work with are strong, dignified and resourceful. Most are able and willing to fend for themselves. But sometimes, when a person has lost everything, it can be hard to retain a sense of dignity and confidence. We work with them to make sure that the support they and their families receive is adjusted to their particular needs. 

Omar has four boys and three girls.
He used to have a grocery shop back in Syria. I learned carpentry here in Zaatari Refugee Camp with Norwegian Refugee Council.

He said; "Now I have some experience here in NRC maintenance site, and I am thinking to become a carpenter." 

"Now I can afford all my family's needs, and I feel like I am useful again when I have something to do and got paid for it."

25th February, 2016.
Photo: Alisa Reznick
Read caption "Now that I have some experience here at NRC’s maintenance site, I’m thinking of becoming a carpenter…I feel like I’m useful again." Omar, father of seven, used to have a grocery store in Syria. He now lives in Zaatari camp, Jordan. Photo: Alisa Reznick

From supporting a father in finding employment to helping a child overcome trauma, we stand behind displaced people. We help them find safety and hope in their new situation, no matter their age, gender, religious or political beliefs, or disabilities.

 
Defending rights

"Before of having refugee document, we were as prisoners in our home because of the fear to be deported. Now we are able to go out and my husband go to work every day"

Estado de Barinas, Venezuela
Photo: Fernanda Pineda - NRC
2015
Read caption "Before we had our refugee documents, we were prisoners in our home. We feared deportation. Now we are able to go out, and my husband can go to work every day." Kelly, a Colombian refugee living in Barinas, Venezuela. Photo: Fernanda Pineda/NRC

As they leave behind everything familiar, many displaced people find themselves denied justice. With our advice, they inform themselves. We guide them as they claim their right to a safe home, obtain the documents to prove their identity, and pursue their right to work.


Rebuilding futures

When a child witnesses terrible events, it’s not easy to help her cope. But we find ways to guide her forward. With our education, vocational training and community activities, children and youth can learn and play. Adults can socialise, recover, and earn a living. They have safe places where they can get back on their feet. 

Jelena has had a tough life. She has live it the village Zolotarivka in eastern Ukraine her whole life, with a husband with drinking problems, a daughter and a son. Some years ago her son, who provided the whole family was killed in an accident. After that she has been living in this house with her daughter (28). During the shelling that lasted for 15 days, between 12th and 25th of July 2014, her house was hit by a rocket, and damaged so badly that it could not be rebuilt. The kitchen was the only room that was not completely demolished. The rest of the house had to be rebuilt.
When she returned and saw the damage, she said: “I want to die, they have destroyed my home and my life”.
Jelena has been moving around to stay with different friends for 18 months since the grenade hit. NRC has provided her with building materials, and the local community has given her some money to pay for the workers to help rebuild the house.
Now Jelena is looking forward to have her home rebuilt. She hopes that she can move in before winter. She says: “finally I have hopes in my life, I can get back to the life I had before”.


Quotes jelene (transcript from video interview)
This used to be my home. In the night between 13th and 14 of July it got destroyed. When I came home from the bomb shelter I was overwhelmed by emotions. I did not want to live, because I had no place to live anymore.
This used to be my home. In the night between 13th and 14 of July it got destroyed. When I came home from the bomb shelter and saw all these horrors. I was overwhelmed by emotions. I did not want to live, because I had no place to live anymore. Thanks to the NRC who helped me so much, I now have a hope. I hope that it will be rebuilt and I am waiting until it is rebuilt, so that I can live at home. 
I am very thankful to NRC for their great help. Of course you helped very much and now the hope is emerging that I will live in my home. Thank you very much.
Read caption “I wanted to die, they had destroyed my home and my life… Thanks to NRC who helped me so much, I now have hope.” Jelena, from eastern Ukraine, became internally displaced when her house was hit by a rocket. Zolotarivka, Ukraine. Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC

They seize their futures. And we provide them with the mental, physical, and legal tools they need on their way.


A year in review: 2015 

In 2015 our seasoned teams were on the frontlines of humanitarian assistance, doing everything they could to help those searching for safety. We reached 5.4 million people across 30 countries in crisis. Learn more about NRC and our history.