Part One: Stories of Refugees Impacted by the Executive Order

RefugePoint has a team of Resettlement Experts who currently work in 20 countries across Africa, as well as in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, identifying refugees who are most in need of resettlement. Those include refugees who are in danger, survivors of torture and violence, woman and girls at risk, and unaccompanied children.

Resettlement Experts identify those in need, conduct interviews with refugees to understand their complete story, verify facts, and help to move refugees through the process of resettlement – including the completion of background and security checks, medical exams, etc. The cases are then submitted to governments, which then conduct their own interview and extensive vetting.

RefugePoint Resettlement Experts work directly with the refugees whose lives are threatened as a result of President Trump’s executive order (EO) that is halting refugee resettlement. The facts about the executive order leave out a critical component – the human aspect. 67,689 refugees who were “travel ready” have now been stopped. Over the next few days, we are going to share stories of refugee families who are impacted by this executive order, as told by the RefugePoint Experts who are on the ground assisting these families.

Although a temporary 120 day suspension of the U.S. resettlement program may not seem like too long of a delay, for refugees with certain medical conditions, or for refugees who face extreme security issues, this delay could mean the difference between life and death. For others, the delay will mean that certain clearances that they had already gained within the resettlement process (including security checks and  medical examinations) will expire within that 120 day suspension, which could result in a resettlement delay of many more months, or even years.

We begin this series with a story of […]

By |February 1st, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Part One: Stories of Refugees Impacted by the Executive Order

Take Action to Counter President Trump’s Anticipated Ban on Refugees

President Donald Trump is expected to order a temporary ban on all refugees resettling to the United States, and an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees. Additionally, it is anticipated that Trump’s Executive Order will reduce the 2017 ceiling on the arrival of refugees for resettlement to the United States from 110,000 to 50,000.

RefugePoint strongly opposes these decisions as they go against the core American value of welcoming families who come to the United States to start their lives again in safety and dignity. We know that nearly half of the world’s refugees are children, simply in search of a safe and secure environment in which to grow. It is profoundly un-American to turn away those seeking safety. This is not who we are as Americans. This is not who we are as a country.

Welcoming refugees makes America safer and stronger. Resettlement helps to stabilize some of our key strategic allies in countries and regions that are disproportionally affected by forced displacement. Continuing to welcome refugees from around the world sends a strong message to groups that want to sow fear that the United States remains a leading force for stability and liberty in the world.

Here are some steps that you can take to voice your concern about the expected ban on refugees:

Please contact President Trump at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact, and let the White House know that you oppose a ban on the arrival of refugees from Syria and around the world. You can also send the White House a Facebook message at Facebook.com/WhiteHouse

Please call your Senators and let them know that you oppose this anticipated order: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/, (202) 224-3121.

Sign this petition stating opposition to any plans to stop refugee resettlement.

RefugePoint is committed to continuing to seek […]

By |January 26th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Take Action to Counter President Trump’s Anticipated Ban on Refugees

Video Release: An Impossible Choice

An Impossible Choice (a Show of Force film) 

 

We all need help in our times of greatest challenge. Today we are confronted with the question: what can I do to help refugees in their most desperate hours?

RefugePoint started as a response to that question. You can watch our founding story in this Congo rescue video. With an unprecedented 65 million displaced by conflict and the average amount of time someone lives as a refugee nearing 20 years, you can take action.

About the Video

This Show of Force film, An Impossible Choice, chronicles the moral dilemma faced by Sasha Chanoff and Sheikha Ali, two humanitarian aid workers in Africa who ran a rescue mission in the Congo in 2000. Their directive was to rescue 112 people from the Congo. They were given a list with 112 names and specific instructions to not evacuate anyone other than the names on the list. Any attempt to do so would put the entire mission, and all of their lives, at risk. But when Sasha and Sheikha came across a group of widows and orphans in desperate need of evacuation, they faced a moral dilemma. Should they attempt to save the additional people, and in doing so put everyone’s lives at risk? Watch, the full video here.

Donate

Support our efforts to help refugees resettle to new countries, and help those who cannot resettle to attain self-reliance. These solutions enable refugees to resume and rebuild their lives. We work with children and women and families like those in this video.

Our first step is to help stabilize refugees when they are injured, scared, or desperate. You can help refugees along the path to a new life through the following options:

By |October 3rd, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Video Release: An Impossible Choice

World Humanitarian Summit: RefugePoint Shares Refugee Self-Reliance Model

This weekend two RefugePoint staff head to Istanbul for the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS). As stated in a WHS tagline, the world is witnessing the highest level of human suffering since the Second World War. Global humanitarian budgets have skyrocketed in this millennium, from $2 billion in 2000 to $25 billion in 2014. Despite the record amount raised in 2014, it still left an unfunded gap of some $16 billion. The disparities between needs and resources are expected to increase further, with only an estimated half of the funds needed to respond to global crises raised in 2015.

The WHS on May 23-24 was spawned from the now broad recognition that the humanitarian system is no longer fit for purpose. As the UN High Commissioner for Refugees warned long before asylum-seekers started arriving in Europe in large numbers last summer, the humanitarian system is both broke and broken.

The aim of the WHS is to bring together world leaders, financial institutions, civil society and the private sector to jointly commit to new actions, funding and, importantly, ways of working to retool the system to match the challenges of our time.

Though not limited to refugees and migration issues, these topics are predictably prominent on the WHS agenda given that we’re witnessing the highest level of forced displacement ever recorded. With the seemingly endless layering of new crises on top of decades-old crises, the notion of humanitarian assistance as short-term emergency relief is becoming an anachronism. It is no longer sustainable to view displaced populations as the sole concern of a few specialized agencies that lack access to the considerably larger development coffers.

In the refugee context, this necessitates more support for countries hosting large numbers of refugees and […]

By |May 19th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on World Humanitarian Summit: RefugePoint Shares Refugee Self-Reliance Model

Resettlement: Our Most Successful Year Ever

This year was our most successful ever in terms of resettlement submissions. Though 2015 fourth quarter statistics are still being tabulated, we know that we have surpassed last year’s totals and referred more than 5,000 refugees for resettlement during 2015. Since 2005, we have referred 32,454 refugees for resettlement.
During this quarter, our staff referred approximately 1,250 of the most vulnerable refugees for resettlement from 15 locations in Africa, bringing our year-end total to approximately 5,000 referrals.

Our staff also facilitated additional resettlement by leading identification exercises to find the most vulnerable refugees and conducting quality review of resettlement submissions. Through these activities we facilitated the resettlement of approximately another 650 refugees this quarter. In total, we helped as many as approximately 1,900 refugees access resettlement during the fourth quarter of 2015.

2015 was not just a successful year for RefugePoint, but for resettlement out of Africa broadly. To give one example, UNHCR in the East & Horn of Africa was able to refer more refugees for resettlement in 2015 than during any other year in its past. RefugePoint was a critical part of this success, having deployed 8 Resettlement Experts and 6 Child Protection Experts to 11 different locations throughout the region.

A primary objective of RefugePoint’s deployment program is to capacitate the overall resettlement system so that the entire system is able to achieve its goal of extending resettlement to all refugees who need it, and therefore we are very pleased to be able to share in this success with UNHCR.

This quarter, we also extended our reach beyond Africa, to the Middle East and the Syrian refugee crisis. In December, our Operations Officer Johanna Babb, based in Geneva, co-facilitated UNHCR’s Resettlement Learning Program (RLP) workshop in Amman, […]

By |January 28th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Resettlement: Our Most Successful Year Ever

1,246 Nairobi Core Clients Graduate From Programs

This quarter we focused largely on monitoring and assessing client progress with an eye toward planning for 2016. Our staff in Nairobi conducted a comprehensive assessment of all RefugePoint clients. Through home visits, staff evaluated individuals’ and families’ living situations, health and wellness, education, and employment status. They looked at indicators around safety, security, and affordability. This marks the third round of biannual (twice yearly) assessments.

RefugePoint’s Livelihoods team was also hard at work visiting and monitoring 224 client-owned businesses that were all launched in 2015. From business training and best practices, to mentoring and monitoring, our clients received technical and financial support from trained staff to start small businesses in Nairobi. The aim of this program is to help refugees establish sustainable livelihoods in order to support themselves and their families. RefugePoint clients have successfully launched a variety of businesses, including selling traditional Congolese fabric, making and selling street-food, and selling second-hand clothes.

The counseling unit also wrapped up individual and group sessions for the year, collecting pre-and post-assessment information from individuals to determine the impact of therapeutic counseling. This was the first year that we conducted intensive therapy groups around single issues (for example, survivors of torture) and we are looking forward to learning from the information collected from clients.

These assessments are all a critical part of our model and help us determine when clients are ready to graduate from our services. We are happy to report that by the end of this year, 1,246 clients were able to sufficiently stabilize and graduate from our core program; they had secure households, stable livelihoods and a good path forward. This was nearly twice the number we had originally expected.

By |January 28th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 1,246 Nairobi Core Clients Graduate From Programs

Event: “Reimagining Refugee Futures: From Exclusion to Inclusion”

With forced displacement at an all-time high, RefugePoint acknowledges that it will take the entire international community to come together to find lasting solutions. With this in mind, we hosted a Jeffersonian dinner entitled “Reimagining Refugee Futures: From Exclusion to Inclusion” at the Hampshire House in Boston on October 28. Our discussion, which included about 80 local innovators and supporters, focused on the growing global crisis and how we can reimagine a better future for refugees.

Board Member G. Barrie Landry and guest speaker Sandra Uwiringiyimana, connect at RefugePoint’s Jeffersonian Dinner event in October. Sandra, now an extremely successful woman, was resettled to the United States with her family when she was a child.
We know that the challenges refugees face can seem overwhelming. But, as our speaker Sandra Uwiringiyimana reminded us, this crisis can be remedied. We all have a role to play and can take action to help refugees. By learning, engaging in dialogue and making connections at discussions like we did at our dinner, we begin to figure out what each of us can do personally and more broadly.

At our event, we met and heard from people who are no longer refugees, Sandra Uwiringiyimana, Deo Mwano, and Dan from the Congo, and Moses from South Sudan. We know from their success what the future can look like for refugees today who are struggling to survive. With the right support, refugees can pursue their own interests and dreams and find ways to contribute their unique talents and skills.

In addition to our resettlement work across Africa, our program in Nairobi is designed to enable refugees to resume dignified, self-sustaining lives in Kenya so that they will not need to pursue dangerous onward journeys in search […]

By |January 28th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Event: “Reimagining Refugee Futures: From Exclusion to Inclusion”

UNHCR – NGO Collaboration Around Resettlement Identification

View Report: UNHCR – NGO Collaboration Around Resettlement Identification

By |November 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on UNHCR – NGO Collaboration Around Resettlement Identification

RefugePoint and the Current Refugee Crisis

Dear Friends,

Since the influx of refugees into Europe became headline news in August, our plates have been more full than usual. Underlying this highly visible desperate search for safety is the fact that globally approximately 60 million people are displaced by conflict, more than at any point on record.

For the past decade our staff have been focused on Africa, where we use the knowledge and positioning that our programs give us to influence global refugee policy and practice. So we are very much connected with our peers in the refugee assistance field throughout this crisis, And this year we have taken concrete steps to protect Syrians as well.

Many RefugePoint supporters have wondered how our work relates to the current crisis and how they can help. This update will share a few points about the crisis and suggest ways to support our life-saving contributions to the field.

NOTES ABOUT CURRENT CRISIS

• While Syrians make up over half of all refugees who arrived in Europe this year, large numbers of Africans (primarily from Eritrea and Somalia) continue to arrive. Some are taking the same routes as the Syrians, from Turkey to Greece, while the majority continues to arrive in Italy over dangerous sea routes from Egypt and Libya. These smuggling and trafficking schemes affect many of the populations with which we work.

• It should be emphasized that the Syrians arriving in Europe are not fleeing straight from Syria. They have spent years as refugees in camps and urban areas in the neighboring countries: Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. In those countries, the assistance and opportunities provided (education, jobs, accommodation) fall far short of the refugees’ survival needs. Many had tried and exhausted all options for making their lives […]

By |October 26th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on RefugePoint and the Current Refugee Crisis

RefugePoint expands into Rwanda, Zambia, and Ivory Coast

In 2005, RefugePoint was operational in one African country – Kenya. Since that time we have expanded to 18 locations in 14 countries across the continent. Our newest efforts include projects in refugee camps and in urban settings in Rwanda, Zambia, and the Ivory Coast. RefugePoint is also preparing to expand to address the needs of South Sudanese refugee children.

In Africa’s Great Lakes region where RefugePoint has been operating since 2009, RefugePoint’s focus has been on increasing resettlement opportunities for refugees who have fled the protracted conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While RefugePoint has worked in Burundi and Uganda, this is our first year to deploy resettlement and children protection experts to Rwanda. In November, we will be sending additional staff to assist with the resettling of 10,000 Congolese refugees from Rwanda by 2016.

Also in 2014, RefugePoint deployed staff to Zambia for the first time. Zambia, like Rwanda, has been a country of asylum for Congolese refugees. In Solwezi, Zambia, our child protection expert is interviewing refugee children to identify concerns and coordinate the provision of needed services. Without these assessments, many refugee children remain at risk indefinitely, unable to access solutions including resettlement.

In West Africa, where refugee populations are smaller and do not garner the same level of attention as the Congolese, the identification of refugees for resettlement has been virtually nonexistent. To address this gap, RefugePoint began working in the Ivory Coast to facilitate the resettlement of several hundred vulnerable refugee children from Liberia. RefugePoint also initiated efforts in Liberia to protect Ivorian refugee children (there are cross flows of refugees between the Ivory Coast and Liberia). However, due to the Ebola epidemic, RefugePoint evacuated the staff person from Liberia, […]

By |October 10th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on RefugePoint expands into Rwanda, Zambia, and Ivory Coast