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Last time you were here, you were looking to help vulnerable children and families. Your support can save and change lives.

mary puts her brothers through school. Will you do the same for her?
Mary* is a refugee in Uganda. She’s been the parent to her two younger brothers since she was 12 years old.

A refugee camp is a hard, and often dangerous place to be a child. At 17, Mary is still a girl herself. But she’s been the sole carer for her two younger brothers for the past five years. In the camp where they live, families are often forced to separate and girls like Mary are left to care for their siblings alone.

Like so many children in refugee camps around the world, Mary has already experienced tragedy beyond her years. Her father was killed in South Sudan’s conflict when Mary was 12. Her mother took the children and fled across the border to the Palorinya refugee camp in Uganda.

It was safer than a conflict zone, but the family now faced extreme poverty and sexual violence. They lived in a shelter with one mattress. Their monthly rations of beans, flour, salt and oil didn’t feed one person, let alone five.

*Names have been changed to protect individuals’ identities.
Girls like Mary have lost so much – including their childhoods.

When her mother returned to South Sudan to find work, Mary became the sole carer for her brothers – David* and John*. They were just 10 and 4 years old.

Instead of going to school, Mary took on odd jobs for money to feed her brothers and send them to school. She showed determination beyond her 12 years as she tackled physically exhausting jobs such as collecting water, washing clothes, and farming. But it often wasn’t enough.

Mary’s story is common across Palorinya, where more than 122,000 South Sudanese refugees face a daily battle to survive.

Some parents, like Mary’s mother, leave the camp, desperate to find work to support their children. They have every intention of coming back – but things happen, and their children are often left to fend for themselves.

It’s not fair that girls lose their childhoods, their opportunity for education and their right to live free from violence.

“Now I am responsible for my brothers. I do work to raise money for home. If there is nothing, we just sleep hungry.”

Mary, age 17

Watch Mary’s story below

Sadly, it is girls like Mary who make the greatest sacrifices and bear the heaviest burden. Girls are often forced to leave school and take up long days of manual labour so they can buy food for their families. Many are forced into early marriage because there are no other adults to provide or protect them.

Here’s what your gift today can help bring them:

Lives without fear, and with education.

With your support, ChildFund trains community leaders in the Palorinya refugee camp to advocate for girls’ education and tackle gender-based violence.

Andrew is one of those leaders who goes door-to-door to meet girls and their families. When the group learned Mary had sacrificed her own education to care for her brothers, they intervened to help her return to school.

Safe places to learn, play and just be kids again.

Your kindness supports three safe Child Friendly Spaces in the Palorinya refugee camp where children can learn, dream, stay safe from violence and access psychosocial care.

Each includes a classroom, toilet and playground – but more funds are needed to sustain them.

Your donation today will help bring children a place to recover from trauma and feel hope for the future again.

The basics that children need to thrive.

Children like Mary can barely afford food, let alone study materials or essentials for home.

But donations like yours allowed Andrew to build another one-room shelter for Mary’s brothers, and furnish it with mattresses, bedsheets and soap.

After five years of sharing a mattress with her brothers, Mary finally has privacy.

Your gift will help bring practical aid to more children across Palorinya refugee camp, so they can live with more dignity and independence.

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    If you’re filing your tax return for the first time, have never claimed donations or donated at all, you’re probably wanting to know more about how you can claim donations to charity on your taxes. We’ve answered some of the most important questions about tax deductible donations below.

    Tax deductible donations are about giving back, to get back. Donating to ChildFund Australia will help children in urgent need of support. You’ll be helping the most vulnerable children across South East Asia and Africa, and you yourself will be able to receive a greater refund on your tax return.

    You can submit any tax deductible donation over $2 as part of your tax return.

    You can only claim for donations which are monetary gifts, given without the promise of something in return. Raffle tickets, charity chocolates, events and other donations of this kind, are not tax deductible.

    At ChildFund, all regular giving donations over $2 are tax deductible including child sponsorship, community sponsorship and donations to appeals. A few donation categories are not tax deductible, for example, birthday gifts to your sponsored child and are not included on your annual tax receipt.