Launch of the Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative

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.

 

Keynote speaker Kim Campbell, Former Prime Minister of Canada and current member of Club de Madrid, and RefugePoint’s Founder and Executive Director […]

By |September 27th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Launch of the Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative

RefugePoint leaders Amy Slaughter and Sasha Chanoff honored as Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of the Year

RefugePoint is proud to announce that today two of its leaders, Amy Slaughter (Chief Strategy Officer) and Sasha Chanoff (Founder and Executive Director), will receive the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship / World Economic Forum Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award! https://www.schwabfound.org/

Amy, Sasha, and the other honored recipients are in New York City with Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, to receive their awards during the World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit co-chaired by the President of Ghana, the Prime Minister of Denmark and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

The award comes as RefugePoint is building a global effort to help refugees become self-reliant in the countries to which they’ve fled in a climate where the U.S. has cut back support for refugees and largely barred its doors. The lack of adequate support for refugees has forced unprecedented numbers into dangerous and deadly onward journeys in search of safety. To draw attention to the importance of refugee self-reliance, RefugePoint and partners have created the Better Lives Now Pledge, a simple ‘call to action’ sign on document open to the public to sign-on. Please consider signing the pledge today! https://www.refugeeselfreliance.org/

As awardees, Amy and Sasha join the Schwab Foundation’s global community of outstanding social entrepreneurs working in over 70 countries. They will be integrated into World Economic Forum meetings and initiatives and will contribute actively in exchanges with top leaders in business, government, civil society, and media. This honor is bestowed each year by the Schwab Foundation, the World Economic Forum’s sister organization, to identify and recognize the world’s leading social entrepreneurs.

Please join us in congratulating our dedicated leaders, Amy and Sasha!

 

By |September 24th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on RefugePoint leaders Amy Slaughter and Sasha Chanoff honored as Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of the Year

RefugePoint Partners with Focusing Philanthropy in $1,000,000 Emergency Campaign: Campaign Launches at Charles and Rita Bronfman’s home

On May 10th, Charles and Rita Bronfman hosted an event at their home in New York to announce a campaign to raise $1,000,000 for RefugePoint in partnership with Focusing Philanthropy to help evacuate unaccompanied refugee children and others at great risk from Libya and the region and resettle them to European Union countries, which have opened up 50,000 resettlement slots for refugees in North Africa and the Middle East. This effort enables refugees in life-threatening circumstances to find lasting solutions.

At the event The Isabel Allende Foundation announced that it is awarding its 2018 Espíritu Award and an accompanying $100,000 to RefugePoint to support this emergency project and in recognition of RefugePoint’s unique work to find lasting solutions for the world’s most at risk refugees.

A recent CNN exposé uncovered slave markets in Libya, a failed state, where RefugePoint staff report that up to twenty five percent of refugees who are trafficked and in peril are unaccompanied girls and boys.

RefugePoint, in collaboration with the UN and its security teams and European Union countries, is engaged in an emergency operation to evacuate refugees from detention centers and resettle them to European Union countries.

Focusing Philanthropy, a charitable organization that supports effective non-profits on the front lines of the world’s greatest challenges, will match 1:1 all donations to reach the $1,000,000 goal, and is pleased to match the Isabel Allende Foundation’s Espiritu Award.

All donations go through Focusing Philanthropy are sent in full to RefugePoint. If any of the costs of this initiative are subsequently covered by the UNHCR, RefugePoint will use the replenished funds flexibly to help ensure the 50,000 target is reached and to maximize the organization’s resettlement efforts.
[RefugePoint finds lasting solutions for […]

By |June 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on RefugePoint Partners with Focusing Philanthropy in $1,000,000 Emergency Campaign: Campaign Launches at Charles and Rita Bronfman’s home

Self-Reliance as a New Response to the Changing Needs of Refugees

RefugePoint was pleased to co-host the panel, Systems Thinking as a Response to the Global Refugee Crisis, with New England International Donors, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Imago Dei Fund, Fidelity Charitable, and The Boston Foundation on Thursday March 29, 2018.

The discussion was moderated by David Gergen (Senior Political Analyst, CNN), and speakers included Sasha Chanoff (Executive Director, RefugePoint), Dale Buscher (Senior Director for Programs, Women’s Refugee Commission), and Rajiv Joshi (Managing Director, The B Team), with keynote remarks from former refugee and author Sandra Uwiringiyimana (How Dare the Sun Rise, The Jimbere Fund).

Ina Breuer, the Executive Director of New England International Donors introduced Paul Grogan, the President and CEO of The Boston Foundation who welcomed the audience to The Boston Foundation’s downtown Boston space.

This group of stakeholders, from a wide variety of sectors: non-profits, philanthropy, academia, journalism, grassroots work, and the business field, examined how to mobilize collectively and promote opportunities for refugees to become self-reliant, contributing members of their host communities. Self-reliance is the social and economic ability of an individual, a household or a community to meet its essential needs in a sustainable manner.

Mr. Gergen began by introducing the concept of Systems Change and laying out the foundation for the conversation. Ms. Uwiringiyimana highlighted the necessity of self reliance in her own life by discussing her personal experience living as a refugee child and how her mother was able to support the family through a small business, when there was no humanitarian aid available.

Mr. Buscher and Mr. Chanoff discussed their respective organizations’ coalition building work through the Self-Reliance Initiative. This Initiative is a joint effort by a coalition of organizations, government agencies, foundations, research institutes and […]

By |April 5th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Self-Reliance as a New Response to the Changing Needs of Refugees

RefugePoint Geneva Representative attends Resettlement Working Group in Berlin, Germany

RefugePoint’s Director of International Programs/Geneva Representative will attend the Resettlement Working Group in Berlin, Germany from February 21-23, 2018. The event includes sessions on complementary pathways, with a focus on opportunities in Canada, which intersects with RefugePoint’s current interests in exploring how to identify refugees in Kenya for labour visas to Canada. The event includes a session about planning the content of the Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement in June, which is the single largest, most important resettlement-related event each year. This meeting presents a great opportunity for RefugePoint to build relationships with representatives from the European governments that will be in attendance.

By |February 20th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on RefugePoint Geneva Representative attends Resettlement Working Group in Berlin, Germany

RefugePoint, NEID, and The Aurora Humanitarian Prize and Initiative host Recognizing Humanitarian and Human Rights Visionaries

Leading philanthropists and social innovators gather to discuss new approaches to the humanitarian crises

On the evening of January 29, 2018, RefugePoint headquarters in Cambridge had the honor of hosting Recognizing Humanitarian and Human Rights Visionaries, sponsored by New England International Donors (NEID) and The Aurora Humanitarian Prize and Humanitarian Initiative.

With an unprecedented 65 million people displaced by war and conflict and humanitarian crises set to worsen in 2018, new humanitarian inspiration and approaches are needed. Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan, two of the founders of The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity and the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, shared the origins and aspirations of this multi-faceted humanitarian platform, as well as the findings of the 2017 Aurora Humanitarian Index and how they are using their platform to generate greater awareness of our common humanity and the need for action. The event was moderated by RefugePoint’s Executive Director, Sasha Chanoff.

 

RefugePoint’s Sasha Chanoff moderates the conversation with Ruben Vardanyan and Noubar Afeyan.

New England International Donors (NEID) is a unique peer to peer learning community of global donors, grant-makers, social investors, corporations and foundations seeking to make a difference in the world.

RefugePoint expands lasting solutions for at-risk refugees and advances the ability of the humanitarian community to do the same. RefugePoint envisions an inclusive world where refugees are supported to rebuild their lives, reach their full potential and contribute to their communities.

By |January 31st, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on RefugePoint, NEID, and The Aurora Humanitarian Prize and Initiative host Recognizing Humanitarian and Human Rights Visionaries

RefugePoint and Partners Pilot New Self-Reliance Measurement Tool with Refugees in Jordan and Kenya

RefugePoint, in partnership with the Women’s Refugee Commission and 15 other agencies, has created and this month will begin testing a new tool for measuring the quality of life and self-reliance of refugee households. The Self-Reliance Index is expected to help shape how refugee assistance is delivered to lead to better, more sustainable outcomes for refugee families. Initial field-testing of the Self-Reliance Index will begin on January 24 in Jordan with Syrian refugees, in partnership with Mercy Corps. In February, field-testing will continue in Kenya with refugees from Congo, Somalia, Ethiopia and other countries, in partnership with the International Rescue Committee. Amy Slaughter, RefugePoint’s Chief Strategy Officer, and Kellie Leeson, the lead consultant on the project, will travel to the field to provide training and support to the pilot partners.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Mercy Corps and the International Rescue Committee on this,” said Sasha Chanoff, RefugePoint’s Executive Director. “This has been very much a collaborative effort from start to finish. We sense that there’s a hunger for just such a tool in the field. We all recognize that self-reliance for refugees is needed broadly, but there isn’t a roadmap for how to go about it.”

The Index represents an important step in the humanitarian community coalescing around common goals and accountability to common measurements. With support from the IKEA Foundation and other donors for a broader Self-Reliance Initiative, RefugePoint helped convene a community of practice that jointly developed this tool – a group that includes UNHCR, the U.S. State Department, Danish Refugee Council and Trickle Up among its 17 members. The Self-Reliance Index is the first tool for global use aimed at facilitating self-reliance for refugees in their countries of asylum.

“Refugees are […]

By |January 22nd, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on RefugePoint and Partners Pilot New Self-Reliance Measurement Tool with Refugees in Jordan and Kenya

RefugePoint, Women’s Refugee Commission, the IKEA Foundation and 12 other partner agencies developing a tool to measure and facilitate refugee self-reliance

How do we measure refugee self-reliance?
Amy Slaughter and Kellie Leeson
Although self-reliance has been promoted as a major assistance strategy for refugees in recent years, there have been limited attempts to rigorously measure it. This has practical and academic implications, as studies on refugee self-reliance use varying and often imprecise indicators, meaning it is impossible to compare the success of refugee self-reliance across contexts and strategies. Instead, most humanitarian work is measured according to specific sectoral outputs or outcomes over the course of a six-month or one-year project cycle. While self-reliance is often highlighted as a priority, few, if any, agencies are held to this goal, and this is in large part because self-reliance is not measured. Continue to read (page 5).

You can also learn more about the related work of Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) here: https://www.womensrefugeecommission.org/wellbeingindex/
Nearly two years ago we discovered that WRC and RefugePoint were working to develop similar measurement tools and decided to join forces — and invite others to join us — to create common measures for the field.
 

By |October 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on RefugePoint, Women’s Refugee Commission, the IKEA Foundation and 12 other partner agencies developing a tool to measure and facilitate refugee self-reliance

RefugePoint Responds to Historically Low Cap on Refugees

On Tuesday, we learned that the Trump Administration intends limit the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. to 45,000 for the 2018 fiscal year. This represents the lowest admissions goal since 1980. By comparison, the 2017 limit allowed for 110,000 refugees.

RefugePoint is profoundly disappointed that in this time of great need, with more than 22.5 million refugees worldwide, the U.S. plans to drastically reduce the number of refugees that it welcomes to the country.

“The decision to reduce the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. to 45,000 is life-threatening for many of the families that our staff are working with on the frontlines,” said Sasha Chanoff, Founder and Executive Director of RefugePoint.

Resettlement is often the best, and sometimes the only option for refugees who cannot return home and are not able to reside safely in the country to which they have fled. Drastically reducing the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. sets a dangerous precedent for other countries to become less welcoming, leaving millions of refugees in life-threatening situations.

RefugePoint and other resettlement organizations continue to strongly urge that the U.S. offer safety and protection to at least 75,000 refugees for the coming fiscal year. We believe that the U.S. must continue its role as the global leader in offering protection to refugees, and we ask that Congress and the Administration recognize the grave impacts that this decision will have on vulnerable refugees around the world, including unaccompanied children, people with severe medical needs, and survivors of torture. At this crucial time, we must step up and not back.

By |September 29th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on RefugePoint Responds to Historically Low Cap on Refugees

Unaccompanied Minors Greatly Impacted by Suspension of the U.S. Resettlement Program

Child protection is extremely important to the work and mission of RefugePoint. We currently have seven Child Protection Experts located in six countries across Africa. Children face extreme risks as refugees and are often subject to exploitation and dangerous living conditions. Additionally, unaccompanied and orphaned minors often have little or no access to education or other basic services. We recently had the opportunity to ask a RefugePoint Child Protection Expert working in Cairo, Egypt, about the impacts that the U.S. resettlement ban is having on her day-to-day work. Here, in her own words, RefugePoint’s Child Protection Expert in Cairo, Egypt, describes the impact that she is witnessing:

“I can say that the U.S. resettlement ban has and will continue to greatly affect the unaccompanied minors in Egypt. With about 1,900 unaccompanied minors, and 2,900 unaccompanied or separated children (UASC) in total, there are presently no resettlement countries accepting unaccompanied minors from Egypt (except on exceptional bases).

The U.S. was and always has been a willing recipient of unaccompanied minors, so this ban nearly completely eliminates any prospects for resettlement, which is the only durable solution for these children. I think that the impact of all of this will be something that we see the effects of for months, and possibly years to come. We will have to begin focusing more on the child protection system, and the available services here in Egypt. We also fear that the lack of resettlement options for these unaccompanied minors will lead to a drastic increase in those attempting to irregularly migrate by sea from Egypt.

As of April 2017, there were 34 unaccompanied or separated children (UASC) who were “stuck” in the resettlement process. I can confidently say that that number […]

By |September 11th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Unaccompanied Minors Greatly Impacted by Suspension of the U.S. Resettlement Program