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Valerii Grek	“The more i get to know people, the more I like dogs. Sometime we even limit expenses on our own food in order to feed our dogs. They feel me. When I leave, they wait for me at the gates. They are my real friends. They are my family.”	“The more I get to know people, the more I like dogs,” says Valerii, quoting Mark Twain as he sits with his family and his dogs at a rickety table at the farm in the Eastern Ukrainian village ofNovyi Donbas. He’s lived here for the last four years, since the long and deadly conflict in the area forced him to abandon his happy life. Seven years he had been working on his perfect house in Dokuchaevsk, and welcomed the first granddaughter home. Then the conflict started. Shells rained down each evening at 5pm, and when his neighbour’s house took a direct hit he knew it was time to grab his family and go. 
Valerii, his wife, daughter, granddaughter and two dogs found an abandoned house: “just a shed really. Like he has done all his life, Valerii put his shoulder to the wheel and bit by bit he created a home. “The house had been empty for three years, but it was the only option for us. I saved money, and got the essential services in as as I want my girls to live in comfort,” he says. 
His income comes from some allowances from the Government of Ukraine, his market garden, and the hundreds of chickens which populate the outhouses. “I have regular customers at the market, and I can sell my stock in half an hour at the local market. My customers are urging me to bring more,” Valerii smiles. 
As a displaced person, he was eligible to apply for small grants, and IOM provided him with a rotary cultivator for his burgeoning garden. 
“I was left with nothing, I started from scratch, and I will achieve something, as long as I have strength,” says Valerii. 
Two of his dogs, Lyalya and Dusya follow him around the yard, apparently listening to his every word. “They feel my emotions. When I leave, they wait for me at the gates. They are my real friends. They are part of my family.”
The canine family is thriving. Lyalya’s son, Khitriwas born in Novyi Donbas. And a fourth dog, Richard, turned up one day. “He was homeless, like we were once. So how could we walk on by?”
The Kaldor Centre's research is instrumental in shaping refugee policy globally. We believe that better evidence, better answers and better understanding are urgently needed if we are to successfully meet the challenges of human displacement in the 21st century. Discover our impact and make a donation to help fund our critical work.
The Kaldor Centre provides cutting edge and principled research and guidance on refugee law both in Australia, and internationally. Its work is evidence-based and solutions-oriented, and has supported efforts to protect and assist refugees and other forcibly displaced people by the United Nations, governments and civil society on the ground.

Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

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  • Support the Centre’s ongoing research on Australian, regional and global forced migration issues;
  • Help change the conversation on refugees by engaging the public, media and policymakers with evidence-based contributions to the refugee debate;
  • Invest in the thought leaders of the future by supporting our Emerging Scholars Network and mentoring program for displaced scholars;
  • Enable the Centre to host public events throughout the year, sharing insights and bringing a broader understanding to complex issues.


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Making a donation to the Kaldor Centre in your will is a powerful way to support our work and will help us bring sustainable, legal and humane solutions to the world’s refugees.

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Rohingya refugee Hamida, 26, a mother of four, received a cylinder of liquefied petroleum gas distributed by UNHCR in Kutupalong camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. She arrived in Bangladesh three years ago from Myanmar and previously used firewood for cooking. ; From 2018, UNHCR began distributing liquefied petroleum gas to refugees and, more recently, to vulnerable Bangladeshi host communities. Other projects include a biodiversity park, seedling and tree plantations, silt traps to improve water quality, and vertical and rooftop gardening. Solar energy is being expanded throughout the camps, with solar-powered street lighting and solar mini grids powering facilities such as health and community centres.
Martin* and Mattias* alongside their disabled brother and parents are the sole family living on the tiny island of Huene. Originally linked to a nearby island, the island has been slowly shrinking over the years making it increasingly difficult to grow crops. It is likely that Martin and Mattias will be the last generation to live on the island. In 2007, CNN reported that the people of the Carteret are being called the world's first environmental refugees Photos: IOM 2016 / Muse Mohammed

A donor's story

I first became aware of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law when I read some of its publications, which I felt reflected a principled, human rights-focused approach to one of the world’s most disturbing challenges. While the media tends to portray refugees and asylum seekers as second-class people, living in dangerously filthy camps and slums, or undertaking ‘illegal’ journeys to find protection, the Kaldor Centre’s academics provide a welcome voice of reason. They carefully scrutinise what governments and world organisations are – and are not – doing to protect people in vulnerable situations.

My first donation to the Centre was in 2017, and since then, I have donated several times each year. I have seen the Centre build its international reputation as a thought-leader on refugee protection, and play an important role advising on domestic legal and policy changes.

I believe the Centre will always have work to do, something that has become even more important during the current pandemic. The Centre has demonstrated its hallmark agility and responsiveness by examining how governments’ responses to COVID-19 are adversely impacting on refugees and people seeking asylum. The Centre is working to ensure that these groups do not face discrimination or deprivation.

On-going funding of such work is critical for future generations. For this reason, I have decided to give to the Kaldor Centre in my will. I am leaving a significant portion of my estate as an investment to help secure the Centre’s future.