Central African Republic is in the thick of a civil war that is likely to result in a wave of refugees. The problem for this landlocked nation is that several of the nations around it are also plagued by interior turmoil, meaning there are only a limited number of places refugees from the CAR can flee to.
Fighting in the last week has driven an estimated 159,000 people from their homes in Bangui, but the total number displaced by turmoil around the country is put at about half a million, Mr. Edwards said. In other parts of Central African Republic, “there are tens of thousands of people who have been in the bush for many months,” said Marixie Mercado, a spokeswoman for Unicef in Geneva. (Source: New York Times, "Violence in Central African Republic...")[. . .]
One of my favorite international refugee non-profits is Liberty in North Korea (LiNK). Thanks to their work, I was made aware of how horrific life is for citizens of North Korea. I've heard the country called "the world's largest concentration camp," and that wasn't even referring to the many prison camps in North Korea. Life there is beyond comprehension horrible for the average person.
Because China refuses to recognize the dire straits of the North Korean people, whenever anyone escapes across the border from NK, Chinese authorities immediately repatriate them. There's an network of brave Chinese citizens who operate an underground railroad of sorts to help these asylum seekers find safety, usually transporting them to South Korea. LiNK works to make people like me aware of the crisis and then to help fund the effort to rescue refugees who have crossed the border.
Right now, the LiNK store is featuring a shirt design by the artist Sun Mu. Originally a propaganda artist for the North Korean army, he defected in 1998. He now uses his art to help make the Western world aware of the plight of his homeland. All of the profit from the t-shirt purchase funds LiNK's work. If you're looking for a Christmas present idea, this is a great one.[. . .]