5 Groups Helping Refugees Thrive
All around the world, war, famine, and political oppression force people to flee their homes. These brave individuals and families head to other countries seeking asylum, often traveling long distances in precarious conditions. Thankfully, many groups exist to alleviate this unfortunate reality, helping refugees establish new homes and rebuild their lives. In no particular order, here are some global organizations dedicated to ensuring displaced people are safe, healthy, and prosperous.
For #1 we get Talent Beyond Boundaries, which works with governments around the world to open up labor mobility pathways for displaced people. The organization matches skilled refugees with companies in need of their abilities, allowing employers to gain valuable talent while displaced people are given a chance to rebuild their careers and lives. TBB has offices in Jordan and Lebanon, as well as team members based in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US.
In 2016, the organization launched its Talent Catalog, the first online platform of its kind to collect comprehensive data on the professional backgrounds of thousands of displaced people. When refugees enter their education, qualifications, and professional experience into the Catalog, CVs are automatically generated for them to download and share with potential employers. TBB disseminates its resources so that others can access its pathways and replicate its model worldwide.
At #2 is the Tent Partnership for Refugees. Founded by Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, Tent is a non-profit organization that mobilizes the global business community to include refugees. It constitutes a network of over 130 major companies, all of which are committed to integrating displaced people in their host communities. Members are based all over the world, and span industries from consumer goods and technology to financial and professional services.
Encouraging companies to think beyond traditional philanthropy, Tent helps businesses engage refugees as potential employees, entrepreneurs, and consumers. It strives to show companies the benefits of hiring and training, leveraging supply chains, supporting startups, and tailoring goods and services to meet refugees' needs. To further its mission, the group invests in new research, guidebooks, and other resources that make it easier for businesses to implement relevant initiatives.
For #3 we come to Refugee Week. Coordinated and managed by Counterpoints Arts, this UK-wide festival celebrates the contributions, creativity, and resilience of refugees. Held every year in June, it features a program of arts, cultural, and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns. The Week is intended to bring about positive encounters between communities by helping people connect and learn from each other, while promoting a welcoming and inclusive culture.
Refugee Week is an umbrella festival, meaning anyone can get involved by holding or joining an event or activity. Events happen in many different spaces, and range from arts festivals, exhibitions, and film screenings to museum tours, football tournaments, and public talks. Participants are encouraged to carry out a "Simple Act," an everyday action that anyone can do to stand with refugees and make new community connections. Examples include writing, making art, reading a book, or watching a film.
Landing at #4 is Project Worthmore. This Colorado nonprofit was founded in 2011 by Frank and Carolyn Anello, who saw how acutely the displaced families in their community needed assistance. Begun as a makeshift response, the group now offers comprehensive programs to thousands of refugees in the Denver area, who hail from over 25 countries. Project Worthmore is located off of east Colfax in the heart of the refugee community, making it easily accessible for clients.
Among the organization's offerings are an English language program, conducted in partnership with Emily Griffith Technical College, and DeLaney Community Farm, a five-acre farm that supports refugees through sustainable agriculture and collaboration. Other resources include a dental clinic, a food access program, and a team of Community Navigators, who help with essential services such as enrolling children in school, applying for government benefits, finding meaningful employment, and more.
Finally, for #5 we have Scottish Refugee Council, an independent charity dedicated to supporting people in need of refugee protection. Through its direct services, the group provides practical support, advice, and a listening ear to help people rebuild their lives in a sustainable and meaningful way. It also speaks out against the country's unjust asylum system, and campaigns for policy changes that make a positive difference in Scotland's communities.
The Council offers direct support in a number of areas, including help with housing, education, health, legal issues, and job support. It works to assist those at all stages of the asylum process, and provides specialty services for new parents, the homeless, and children who have been separated from their families. Additionally, the Council hosts a range of arts and cultural events, workshops, and training courses that celebrate refugees and help them settle into their new country.