As a part of our #GivingBack16 campaign we want to share the stories of organisations that are working hard to make the world a better place. RefuAid Co-Founder, Anna Jones, got in touch with us and gave us a great insight into all of the amazing work that RefuAid is currently doing to help refugees around the world. Here’s the incredible story of this small team of four…
RefuAid was founded in 2015 to establish socially innovative programs, support locally-led organisations and community groups increase their capacity. In response to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, RefuAid is fostering greater social cohesion between refugees and host communities, improving prospects for all
Their aim is to bridge the growing gap between humanitarian aid and development, specifically in refugee hosting nations.
They are hoping that 2017 will be an even bigger year and allow them to continue to make a massive difference in the lives of those they are supporting. As the majority of their team consists of volunteers, those who choose to dedicate their time to them are invaluable!
RefuAid are bridging the gap between humanitarian aid and development.Click to Tweet
Everyone at RefuAid is passionate about assisting refugees to regain independence and access to livelihood as quickly as possible. They believe there are a number of opportunities to ‘speeding up’ this process many of which are missed by larger organisations who often take a different approach.
One of their main projects is a loan scheme that assists resettled refugees in the UK, helping them to gain employment that matches their skill set and qualifications. In order to re-qualify in a profession and/or trade in the UK, people must pay for re-qualification and UK accreditation courses. As this is often out of reach for people who are refugees, they tend to take up ‘survival’ jobs within hospitality. As underemployment has a huge impact on society both economically and socially, RefuAid has designed a solution.
Over the past 18 months, RefuAid have been focusing on projects and support between the UK and Greece. Their international projects in Greece support host community initiatives to provide housing, healthcare and livelihood opportunities.
Their housing project has also provided long-term private, safe and supported housing to over 100 people which has included support with project planning, monitoring, evaluation and proposal writing which secured funding for 10 apartments for 1 year. As of today, the housing project has helped 57 people find long term housing solutions.
By providing Greek hospitals with resources, RefuAid have helped to reduce the struggle they face coping with the crippling economic climate and an increase in patients. As well as buying t multiple pieces of medical equipment, RefuAid have also supported the renovation of a social pharmacy and provided funding to expand the reach to include the needs of both local community members and the surrounding refugee camps.
As a part of their international initiative in Greece, RefuAid have launched ‘More Than Just A Gift’ campaign, and are hoping to raise £10,000 for three of their projects in Greece.
In the UK, RefuAid have just launched “Language: A Gateway program”. This provides small grants to refugees wishing to gain a English language qualification that will enable them to access higher education or employment.
As mentioned before, RefuAid have created a loan scheme that will provide and administer micro loans of up to £10,000 to internationally trained refugees in order to assist them in obtaining UK accreditation, upgrading, or training. This will ultimately allow them to return to employment in their pre-immigration professional and trade fields. To do so, they rely on contributions from individuals and organsiations and are currently trying to raise funds to begin running this fantastic project.
In the last year RefuAid have had an annual income of around £80,000 – a huge achievement for them with such a relatively small budget. Next year, they’re hoping to expand, raise more and support as many people as possible.