On September 20th, RefugePoint announced the launch of the Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative, a collaboration among NGOs, UNHCR, foundations, government agencies, the private sector, and others to support refugees to achieve a better quality of life for themselves and their families.

Along with our partners, RefugePoint introduced this Initiative at our launch event Better Lives Now: Leveraging Refugees’ Talents in New York during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The event featured members from the Initiative’s partnering agencies, including keynote speaker Kim Campbell, Former Prime Minister of Canada and current member of Club de Madrid, and RefugePoint’s Founder and Executive Director Sasha Chanoff, along with panel speakers Per Heggenes, CEO of IKEA Foundation, Robert Hakiza, Co-Founder of YARID, Maria Stravropoulou, Deputy Director UNHCR Liaison Office.

The Initiative focuses on promoting self-reliance as a way for refugees to regain agency over their finances and futures, while supporting the peace, stability, and prosperity of their hosting communities. RefugePoint aims to reach 5 million refugees in 5 years through self-reliance programming, including access to education, employment, and leadership opportunities that allow refugees to regain dignity and hope.

In hopes of drawing attention to the importance of self-reliance programming, RefugePoint has co-created the Better Lives Now pledge along with partners at the Women’s Refugee Committee and the Aurora Prize in response to the growing number of refugees, now reaching over 25 million worldwide.

The pledge features the opportunity for all interested members of the public to sign their name in support of the Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative. To get involved, sign the pledge today and watch the recorded event in the video below.

 

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Keynote speaker Kim Campbell, Former Prime Minister of Canada and current member of Club de Madrid, and RefugePoint’s Founder and Executive Director Sasha Chanoff.

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RefugePoint’s Founder and Executive Director Sasha Chanoff with panel moderator Heba Aly, Vartan Gregorian, Co-Founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, and Ed Shapiro.

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RefugePoint’s Chief Strategy Officer Amy Slaughter (middle) with Noubar Afeyan, Co-Founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative.

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Panel speakers (right to left) Per Heggenes, CEO of IKEA Foundation,Maria Stravropoulou, Deputy Director UNHCR Liaison Office, Kellie Leeson, leader of the Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative, Robert Hakiza, Co-Founder of YARID, and moderator Heba Aly.

 

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RefugePoint’s Founder and Executive Director Sasha Chanoff.