International Day of Families Campaign


Why GlobalMedic Is Running This Campaign

By Laura Garrioch And Whitney Austin

International Family Day

The International Day of Families has been observed every May 15th since 1993. Each year a new theme is promoted to bring awareness to economic, social and demographic processes that affect families. This year’s theme is “Families and inclusive societies” with a focus on Sustainable Development Goal 16 which promotes peaceful and inclusive societies. GlobalMedic supports peaceful and inclusive societies because we witness the effects that the absence of peace has on families.

Families In Need

Today the level of families forced from their homes by conflict or persecution is unprecedented. The UN estimates that 65.6 million people have been forcibly displaced, 10 million of whom are considered stateless, which means they are not legally a national of any country. GlobalMedic is responding. Currently, GlobalMedic is providing humanitarian support to families who have been forcibly displaced in Bangladesh, Syria, and Yemen. Here’s why:

Families In Rohingya

In August 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims began fleeing persecution and the destruction of their homes in what has been described as ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine province of Myanmar. Since then, more than 700,000 of them have arrived in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh in the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis. Men, women, and children traveled to Bangladesh by foot and boat, carrying the young and the elderly. They arrived in need of food, water, shelter as well as medical and psychological support to cope with the trauma of losing their homes and family members. Settlement sites in Bangladesh were small and unprepared for the massive influx of refugees. Water and hygiene conditions were poor before their arrival and the risk of a cholera outbreak is extremely high.

The Crisis In Syria Enters Eight-Year

The crisis in Syria has entered its eighth year and civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict with over 13 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Up to 35% of the population rely on unsafe water sources, families are spending up to 25% of their income to meet their water needs, and many families cannot afford to purchase clean water at all. The lack of access to clean drinking water and basic life necessities caused by the conflict has put the health of millions of people at risk. While the need for health services increases, access to health care is decreasing. Less than half of Syria’s health facilities are fully operational and in the first two months of 2018, there were 67 verified attacks on Syrian health facilities, workers, and infrastructure, leaving Syrians with less capacity to cope with easily treatable illnesses.

Contamination Of Water Within Yemen

Yemen has been experiencing a domino effect of difficult crises, all stemming from the conflict that has been ravaging the country for over two years. With over 8,757 conflict-related deaths, and 3 million people forced from their homes, the situation has become dire. The conflict has caused market instability meaning nutritious food is hard to come by. The conflict has also led to contaminated water sources and insufficient sanitation. The cumulation of these factors has led to an unprecedented outbreak of cholera, a water-borne disease, throughout the region. The most vulnerable population are the 2 million Internally Displaced Persons, the children under 15, and the elderly. Contaminated water sources, disruptions in the public health services due to conflict, lack of clean drinking water and a break down in sanitation has led to more than 900,000 cases of cholera, of which 41 percent are estimated to be children.

How We Are Helping

In order to support families who have experienced the atrocities of war, GlobalMedic is providing Family Emergency Kits to displaced families in Bangladesh, Syria, and Yemen.



Family Emergency Kits

A Family Emergency Kit supports a family in need by providing them with supplies to purify drinking water and keep themselves clean and healthy. A Family Emergency Kit will either contain a Rainfresh Water Purification Unit which will provide clean drinking water for a year or a box of P&G water purification packets which will provide a family with clean drinking water for three months. Each kit also contains soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste – all simple items that can prevent disease and provide a sense of dignity and normalcy.

See some of the great work our volunteers continue to do each and every day.

Each Family Emergency Kit and Welcome to Canada Kit was packed by caring volunteers and the items were sourced with public and private donations.

For this year’s International Day of Families, join us and our thousands of volunteers at GlobalMedic to consider what you can do to support families and create more peaceful societies.