Blog

MORE REFUGEES DIE ON JOURNEY TO ITALY

Tragically, two days ago a boat arrived at Palermo port with 1000 people on. 7 refugee deaths have been recorded on the journey, 5 of whom were women.

One refugee told us about his terrifying journey on a wooden boat with holes in the bottom, which was sinking by the time they were rescued. 3 of the dead were on his boat, one of them a woman who had drowned in the water the boat was taking in.

Support more refugees in Italy by donating here.

What are NGOs failing to provide?

NGOs responsible for informing refugees of their rights explain in English the complex asylum seeking procedure before handing out leaflets. Most people cannot hear, many cannot read and do not speak English.

Exhausted and still traumatised from their journey, they struggle to take in this new and complicated information. They don’t yet know it’s very likely that this will be the only time they will be helped to understand their rights.

What are we doing to help?

We are working with a drop-in project in Palermo which works with vulnerable migrants and refugees to fill the gap left by the international organisations failing them.

They support people with things like accessing their rights to protection and accommodation, and preparing for asylum interviews.

Please help us support this project, and many more like it across Europe by donating here.

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OUR NEW REFUGEE HOUSING PROJECT IN GREECE

“Because I am not able to live in a house, I decided to create housing by myself.”

Refugee rejected from the EU relocation program, with 2 children and living in a tent for the past year. It’s the story of so many parents we’ve met in Greece.

The new refugee housing project in Greece

That’s why we’re incredibly proud to announce a new housing initiative with our partners RefuAid, and our implementing local partners Perichoresis!

This project gives people a home, helps people put their children in local schools, access jobs, learn the language, integrating into the local community whilst also supporting local communities themselves.

It shows there is another way – in long-term situations we don’t have to rely on refugee camps to support people! With your support we can grow this program and support more people to regain dignity and independence. We’re starting with 10 apartments and are hoping to grow the program.

Help us grow the program by donating here.

As of June 1st we will be providing apartments for up to 5 years to those claiming asylum in Greece. For the first 2 years, full rent and utilities will be provided as well as support staff.

This will then phase out by 25% a year over the next 3 years, by which point people will be able to support themselves. Greek destitute families and individuals will be included on the program alongside those residents claiming asylum.

The beautiful image is by Abdulazez Dukhan, visit Through refugee eyes to see more of his work!

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Help Refugees: financial reports

Thanks to people like you, Help Refugees has provided vital emergency aid and longer-term support to almost 1 million people across the world.

We’re really proud of the fact that, since our foundation in August 2015, 89% of the funds we raise have gone straight to projects supporting refugees and displaced people across Europe and the Middle East.

In 2018, just 4% of our funds were spent on running costs, with 4% spent on fundraising, and the remaining 3% going to Prism the Gift Fund for their governance and accounting work.

If you have any questions about our financial accounts, please get in touch at contact@helprefugees.org.

Our 2018 annual financial report: Download the report here.

Our 2017 financial report: 201 Download the report here.

Our first 18 months: Download the report here.

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REFUGEE YOUTH SERVICE MOBILE VAN UP AND RUNNING

Just yesterday we met two 14 year olds newly arrived, both have been provided with a phone and one of the young men has gone to state protection for a few days after our Eritrean youth worker and French Jurist helped to explain his options.

We’re now planning regular beach trips over the summer to provide legal advice whilst offering a half day holiday from the situation minors are currently in here.

And we’re speaking to former refugees here in France to provide young people with role models from their own community.

To keep the RYS van mobile, we need to pay for internet, fuel, books, translators and all other running costs. Please donate to our fundraiser for the van here.

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REFUGEE YOUTH SERVICE MOBILE VAN UP AND RUNNING

Just yesterday we met two 14 year olds newly arrived, both have been provided with a phone and one of the young men has gone to state protection for a few days after our Eritrean youth worker and French Jurist helped to explain his options.

We’re now planning regular beach trips over the summer to provide legal advice whilst offering a half day holiday from the situation minors are currently in here.

And we’re speaking to former refugees here in France to provide young people with role models from their own community.

To keep the RYS van mobile, we need to pay for internet, fuel, books, translators and all other running costs. Please donate to our fundraiser for the van here.

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EMPOWERING PREVIOUSLY TRAFFICKED REFUGEE WOMEN IN ITALY

The women at Donne Di Benin City have set up an organic micro-farming business to help previously trafficked women living in Sicily become independent.

They’ve been busy with their first harvest and it’s now time for their first big music and food event – we’re hoping their onions and tomatoes will be ready in time to go in their delicious recipes!

We’re helping them get started and have set up this fundraiser for the project, so you can help these incredible women get their business off the ground.

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Help Refugees: Data Protection Policy

Introduction

Purpose

The organisation is committed to being transparent about how it collects and uses the personal data of its workforce, and to meeting its data protection obligations. This policy sets out the organisation’s commitment to data protection, and individual rights and obligations in relation to personal data.

This policy applies to the personal data of job applicants, employees, workers, contractors, volunteers, donors, and former employees, referred to as HR-related personal data.

What this policy applies to

This policy applies to “Personal data” which is any information that relates to an individual who can be identified from that information. Processing is any use that is made of data, including collecting, storing, amending, disclosing or destroying it.

In addition, particular care will be taken in the processing of Special categories of personal data” which means information about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health, sex life or sexual orientation and biometric data. Similar care will be taken in processing “Criminal records data” which means information about an individual’s criminal convictions and offences, and information relating to criminal allegations and proceedings.

Data protection principles

The organisation processes HR-related personal data in accordance with the following data protection principles:

  • The organisation processes personal data lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner.
  • The organisation collects personal data only for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes.
  • The organisation processes personal data only where it is adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purposes of processing.
  • The organisation keeps accurate personal data and takes all reasonable steps to ensure that inaccurate personal data is rectified or deleted without delay.
  • The organisation keeps personal data only for the period necessary for processing.
  • The organisation adopts appropriate measures to make sure that personal data is secure, and protected against unauthorised or unlawful processing, and accidental loss, destruction or damage.

The organisation will hold and process HR-related personal data (including special categories of personal data) which has been or is in the future obtained by the organisation for purposes relating to the administration, management and operation of an individual’s employment or engagement (including payment of wages and maintenance of attendance, performance and conduct records) or in relation to the organisation’s legal obligations or operational needs. Such processing will be conducted by the organisation because it: is necessary for the performance of the employment contract or other contract under which the person is engaged;  is necessary to comply with a legal obligation to which the organisation is subject; and/or is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the organisation. On occasion the organisation will also rely upon consent and, where it does so, consent can be withdrawn by notifying the organisation.

The organisation will tell individuals the reasons for processing their personal data, how it uses such data and the legal basis for processing in its privacy notices. It will not process personal data of individuals for other reasons.

The organisation will update HR-related personal data promptly if an individual advises that his/her information has changed or is inaccurate.

Personal data gathered during the employment, worker, contractor, donor or volunteer relationship, is held in the individual’s personnel file (in hard copy or electronic format, or both), and on HR systems. The periods for which the organisation holds HR-related personal data will vary depending upon the information held, but for most HR-related personnel data will be no more than seven years after the relationship has ended, albeit some records will need to be retained for longer to, for example, ensure that there is a record retained of who has been employed and when.

The organisation keeps a record of its processing activities in respect of HR-related personal data in accordance with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Individual rights

As a data subject, individuals have a number of rights in relation to their personal data.

Subject access requests

Individuals have the right to make a subject access request. If an individual makes a subject access request, the organisation will tell him/her:

  • whether or not his/her data is processed and if so why, the categories of personal data concerned and the source of the data if it is not collected from the individual;
  • to whom his/her data is or may be disclosed, including to recipients located outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and the safeguards that apply to such transfers;
  • for how long his/her personal data is stored (or how that period is decided);
  • his/her rights to rectification or erasure of data, or to restrict or object to processing;
  • his/her right to complain to the Information Commissioner if he/she thinks the organisation has failed to comply with his/her data protection rights; and
  • whether or not the organisation carries out automated decision-making and the logic involved in any such decision-making.

The organisation will also provide the individual with a copy of the personal data undergoing processing. This will normally be in electronic form if the individual has made a request electronically, unless he/she agrees otherwise.

If the individual wants additional copies, the organisation will charge a fee, which will be based on the administrative cost to the organisation of providing the additional copies.

To make a subject access request, the individual should send the request to person identified. In some cases, the organisation may need to ask for proof of identification before the request can be processed. The organisation will inform the individual if it needs to verify his/her identity and the documents it requires.

The organisation will normally respond to a request within a period of one month from the date it is received. In some cases, such as where the organisation processes large amounts of the individual’s data, it may respond within three months of the date the request is received. The organisation will write to the individual within one month of receiving the original request to tell him/her if this is the case.

If a subject access request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, the organisation is not obliged to comply with it. Alternatively, the organisation can agree to respond but will charge a fee, which will be based on the administrative cost of responding to the request. A subject access request is likely to be manifestly unfounded or excessive where it repeats a request to which the organisation has already responded. If an individual submits a request that is unfounded or excessive, the organisation will notify him/her that this is the case and whether or not it will respond to it.

Other rights

Individuals have a number of other rights in relation to their personal data. They can require the organisation to:

  • rectify inaccurate data;
  • stop processing or erase data that is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing;
  • stop processing or erase data if the individual’s interests override the organisation’s legitimate grounds for processing data (where the organisation relies on its legitimate interests as a reason for processing data);
  • stop processing or erase data if processing is unlawful; and
  • stop processing data for a period if data is inaccurate or if there is a dispute about whether or not the individual’s interests override the organisation’s legitimate grounds for processing data.

To ask the organisation to take any of these steps, the individual should send the request to the person identified in this policy.

Data security

The organisation takes the security of HR-related personal data seriously. The organisation has internal policies and controls in place to protect personal data against loss, accidental destruction, misuse or disclosure, and to ensure that data is not accessed, except by employees in the proper performance of their duties.

Where the organisation engages third parties to process personal data on its behalf, such parties do so on the basis of written instructions, are under a duty of confidentiality and are obliged to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of data.

Data breaches

If the organisation discovers that there has been a breach of HR-related personal data that poses a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, it will report it to the Information Commissioner within 72 hours of discovery. The organisation will record all data breaches regardless of their effect.

If the breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, it will tell affected individuals that there has been a breach and provide them with information about its likely consequences and the mitigation measures it has taken.

International data transfers

The organisation will not transfer HR-related personal data to countries outside the EEA.

Individual responsibilities

Individuals are responsible for helping the organisation keep their personal data up to date. Individuals should let the organisation know if data provided to the organisation changes, for example if an individual moves house or changes his/her bank details.

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REFUGEES WELCOME CINEMA + KITCHEN

Arrive hungry. Leave laughing.

Welcome Cinema + Kitchen will have you in giggles this month with a screening of GONE TOO FAR!

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with writer Bola Agbaje and journalist Ismail Einashe. This event includes poetry, prizes and the star of the show – Welcome Kitchen’s legendary supper club! Look out for menu announcements closer to the time.

Tickets are free to refugees and asylum seekers. Please email welcomepresents@gmail.com

Prices start at £17.50 for everyone else. Get your ticket for the 25th May here.

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TEACHING REFUGEE CHILDREN IN LEBANON

On the mobile education bus, our partners Salam LADC aren’t just teaching the kids literacy and math, they’re also showing them the taste of European food and culture.

With our friends at Breteau Foundation we have helped facilitate this brilliant project. We also provide monthly support to Salam LADC for all their operations. These operations include medical outreach, emergency aid distribution and education and empowerment projects in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.

We really need funding to continue to support this project, and many more like it in the Middle East and Europe. To help, please donate here.

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MORE REFUGEES ARE ARRIVING IN CALAIS

In the last week we’ve helped distribute 18,840 items, and we’re seeing a sharp increase in the numbers of people we serve, with around 500 people in the Calais and Dunkirk area.

Our new Child Protection team led by Refugee Youth Service are working hard building relationships with the children in the area and trying to find ways to offer them support. The largest need is met through the daily distributions we do in Calais, as well as the outreach along with our partners Utopia 56 in the wider area responding to urgent needs.

We are expecting more people to come, especially after the evacuations in Paris, and we are running dangerously low on essential items! If you have any thick blankets, sleeping bags and size 41,42,43 trainers please email calaisdonations@gmail.com

To keep up with the growing number of refugees in Calais, we need donations to respond quickly to changing needs and conditions. Please donate here to support our work.

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