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We’re hiring! Apply to join Help Refugees as our Samos Field Manager

We are looking for a Field Manager to join our team on Samos.

Applications are open now!

About the Organisation

Help Refugees is the largest grassroots humanitarian organisation working with refugees in Europe, the Middle East and on the US-Mexico border. Providing funding and support for over 120 of the most effective locally-led groups working on the frontlines, we act fast to help those who need it most. Our key goal is to provide flexible needs-based funding to grassroots organisations to close and prevent future gaps across the 3 layers: 1. emergency response; 2. basic survival; 3. rebuilding lives.

Help Refugees have Field Managers based in France, on the Greek mainland, and the Greek islands of Lesvos and Samos.

 

Purpose of the role: Working with the other Field Manager based on Samos to manage the Samos, Chios, and potentially Leros and Kos operations of Help Refugees.

Contract Length: 12 months

Hours: Full-time

Start Date: Mid September

Salary: Inline with other non-governmental organisations

 

Key areas of responsibility:

Partner support

          • Procurement of supplies and emergency aid
          • Assist with logistics for shipments 
          • Operational support on issues that arise in the field
          • Take an active role in the emergency response core team
          • Liaise with external training providers where appropriate

Finance management

          • Managing a three-monthly budget
          • Allocating resources based on needs, local developments and strategic direction
          • Monitoring and evaluation of partner projects
          • Maintain regular contact and build trusted relationships with partner projects
          • Ensure timely submission of project reports by coordinating with partners

Context analysis and representation

          • Understand context on the Aegean islands and keep up to date with the situation
          • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with all actors to enhance cooperation and coordination between organisations
          • Represent Help Refugees at inter-association meetings
          • Facilitate and lead meetings, and take minutes, when required
          • Act as the link between the work on the ground and London-based team 
          • Work closely with the rest of the Greece field team to share knowledge and ideas
          • Participate in report writing and in proposal writing relevant to the operation and context in the region
          • Host visits from donors, London team, media and stakeholders

External communication

          • Work with the campaigns, communications and advocacy teams to raise awareness of the situation on the Aegean islands and issues affecting partners
          • Take photos and collect stories and testimonies from partner organisations to be used by the communications team
          • Be a point of contact for media/press when required

Essential criteria:

  • Highly proactive and organised, able to manage and prioritise a busy, high-pressure workload
  • Imaginative and solution-oriented
  • Calm, diplomatic and patient
  • Experience working in the field of humanitarian aid, refugees or migration
  • Unafraid of administrative tasks
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English
  • Ability to act and write sensitively with complex and challenging topics, in a range of tones
  • Proficiency with Google Docs, spreadsheets and other presentation tools

 

Desired criteria:

  • Lived experience of displacement or migration
  • Greek language proficiency/Greek Residency
  • Knowledge of the regional and European migration situation
  • Experience of working/volunteering within grassroots organisations in the migration sector
  • Full driving license

 

Application:

Please send your CV and a one-page cover letter to jobs@helprefugees.org  

 

Application deadline: Friday 7th August

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

 

Help Refugees is against discrimination of any kind. We recognise that unconscious bias and internalised prejudice bleed into workplace practices, and so actively work to educate our staff and leadership team in allyship and non-discriminatory practice. Our success as an organisation requires us to live our principles, bringing equity and diversity of lived experience into our decision-making and creative processes. Please do not feel you will be disadvantaged in the selection process on the basis of race, colour, religion, gender, age, sexuality or any other protected characteristic. If you need reasonable adjustments, please let us know in confidence.

We are committed to making our roles and culture inclusive. We can make reasonable adjustments throughout the application process and on the job. If you have particular accessibility needs, please get in touch and let us know any requirements you may have.

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Greek NGO registration. Our statement.

The Greek government is making it impossibly hard for many vital humanitarian groups to operate – but protecting the rights of vulnerable people must come first.

New rules introduced earlier this year require NGOs in Greece to register with the government, but by doing so they must fulfil a host of expensive and bureaucratic obligations. This new process will result in a vast number of small grassroots organisations, just like the partners we support, being prevented from doing their vital work.

Today, alongside 72 other organisations, we released a statement to Greek officials calling on them to reconsider this legislation and engage in constructive dialogue with civil society. Humanitarian work is essential work and must be protected and respected.


Joint letter to:

  • The Minister of Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi
  • The Alternate Minister of Migration and Asylum, Giorgos Koumoutsakos

Cc:

  • The European Commissioner for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová
  • The President of the Expert Council on NGO Law of the Council of Europe, Jeremy McBride
  • The President of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe, Anna Rurka
  • The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule
  • The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe González Morales

 

The undersigned organisations welcome the ‘Opinion on the Compatibility with European Standards of Recent and Planned Amendments to the Greek Legislation on NGO Registration’ from the Expert Council on NGO Law of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe (hereafter Expert Council). The organisations appreciate the efforts of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum to centralize the registration of organisations active in the field of international protection, migration, asylum and social integration of third-country nationals, but endorse the recommendation that current legislation “should be substantially revised so that they are brought into line with European standards”.

 

The Expert Council expressed their concern that the registration and certification procedure creates unnecessary and disproportional barriers on the work of NGOs and impedes freedom of association. This could have a chilling effect on civil society and potentially create a “worrying humanitarian situation” as organisations cover existing gaps in the provision of services, protection, health and the monitoring of human rights. These concerns are not unfounded; a recent announcement by the Minister of Migration and Asylum made clear that after the registration process only 18 out of 44 organisations will be allowed to continue work inside government facilities until a final decision on their certification is given. A first listing of NGOs that will receive a final decision on their certification, and which are allowed to continue their work in government structures excludes a large number of organisations which provide essential services, including medical NGOs.

 

In order to continue work in government facilities, organisations that previously registered were obliged to re-register within two months after publication of legislation. According to the Expert Council these requirements do not satisfy proportionality requirements for the restriction on the freedom of association. The low number of organisations that proceeded to the certification stage of the registration procedure reflects the Expert Council finding that the procedure is onerous, time consuming and costly, especially for smaller NGOs. In addition the Expert Council warns there could be arbitrary decisions made based on the vagueness of criteria for certification and a lack of independence of the deciding body.

 

Both the Expert Council and the European Court of Justice recently emphasized that the work of NGOs is essential for a democratic state and a well functioning pluralistic society and therefore there should be minimal limitations to their work. The work of many organisations in Greece is essential in providing basic services including legal assistance, medical care, child protection, women’s protection and empowerment, housing, support for unaccompanied children, (informal) education, employment counseling, job matching, Site Management Support, and provision of information, but are currently hampered by legislative requirements. To ensure the well functioning of civil society in Greece NGOs should have been consulted about legislation regarding their work and the procedure for registration and certification should be made as ‘simple as possible’ and in line with the right to the freedom of association. Therefore, we respectfully ask you:

 

    • To implement the recommendations made by the Expert Council on NGO Law to bring legislation on NGO registration in line with European standards.
    • To urgently reconsider the requirements for certification and the decision making pathway for certification in accordance with the findings of the Expert Council on NGO Law. 
    • To engage in a constructive dialogue with civil society on the requirements for registration and certification and how the government could encourage organisations to be accountable and transparent, as a means to attain the legitimate goals set out in Article 11(2) of the ECHR.
    • To proceed with timely public consultation and discussion with civil society on legislative reforms and forthcoming legislation regarding registration of NGOs in Greece as per the expert council’s recommendation. 

 

We remain at your disposal for more information.

Signed by,

      1. Action for Education
      2. Action for Women
      3. ActionAid Hellas
      4. Advocates Abroad
      5. Afghan Community Migration & Refugees in Greece
      6. ARION-CETACEAN RESCUE AND REHABILITATION RESEARCH CENTER
      7. ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth
      8. Bridge2
      9. Centre for Research on Women’s Issues (CRWI) “Diotima”
      10. Changemakers Lab
      11. Civil Act
      12. Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
      13. Donate4Refugees
      14. ECHO100PLUS
      15. ELIX
      16. Fenix – Humanitarian Legal Aid
      17. foodKIND
      18. Free Movement Skateboarding UK
      19. Greek Forum Of Migrants – Ελληνικό Φόρουμ Μεταναστών
      20. Greek Forum of Refugees
      21. Hellenic Liver Patient Association “Prometheus”
      22. Hellenic Liver Patient Association “Prometheus”
      23. Help Refugees
      24. HIGGS
      25. Humanity Now: Direct Refugee Relief
      26. HumanRights360
      27. Humans for Humans (The Imagine Project)
      28. I AM YOU Humanitarian Aid
      29. IASIS
      30. InCommOn AMKE
      31. Indigo Volunteers
      32. Intereuropean Human Aid Association
      33. INTERSOS Hellas
      34. InterVolve
      35. Jesuit Refugee Service Greece – JRS Greece
      36. La Luna Di Vasilika ONLUS
      37. Lesvos Solidarity
      38. Medical Volunteers International e.V.
      39. Melissa: Network of Migrant Women in Greece
      40. mellifera
      41. MERIMNA – Society for the care of children and families facing illness and death
      42. Mobile Info Team
      43. Northern Lights Aid
      44. Office of Displaced Designers
      45. OMNES
      46. One Happy Family
      47. Project Armonia
      48. ReFOCUS Media Labs
      49. Refugee Legal Support (RLS)
      50. Refugee Rescue
      51. Refugee Rights Europe
      52. Refugee Trauma Initiative (RTI)
      53. Refugee Youth Service
      54. RefugeeEd
      55. Samos Volunteers
      56. ShowerPower Foundation
      57. Social Hacker A.M.K.E.
      58. SolidarityNow
      59. Still I Rise
      60. Terre des hommes Hellas
      61. Together for Better Days
      62. Velos Youth
      63. Verein FAIR.
      64. Wave – Thessaloniki
      65. We Need Books
      66. Yoga and Sport For Refugees
      67. YouBeHero
      68. ΒΙΟΚΑΤΑΝΑΛΩΤΕΣ ΓΙΑ ΠΟΙΟΤΙΚΗ ΖΩΗ (ΒΙΟΖΩ)
      69. Θάλασσα Αλληλεγγύης- Thalassa of Solidarity
      70. Κοινωφελές Σωματείο Αρωγής Ηλικιωμένων και Ατόμων με Αναπηρία-ΦΡΟΝΤΙΖΩ
      71. Μary Pini Director KESO Μαίρη Πίνη Διευθύντρια ΚΕΣΟ
      72. Τεχνοδρομώ/ArtActing
      73. 50και Ελλάς
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Our statement of solidarity – and plan to improve

We start this by acknowledging that it has taken time for us to put this statement out. Over recent weeks we have been having conversations, many of which have been uncomfortable, about the power and privilege that opened up opportunities and led to the creation and growth of our organisation.

Whilst we never intended to become an organisation when we started in 2015, five years later we are a key organisation in the forced migration space globally.

As an independent organisation, we work within a global system that is structurally racist, capitalist and unjust. We acknowledge that this also shows up in our organisational culture and actions. We are a humanitarian organisation, but those who need humanitarian assistance only do so because of colonialism, racism, foreign policy, and borders. Our privilege is a result of these very same things. The nature of much of the work that we do does not place those supporting and those being supported in equal standing – it is not equitable.  Those who are forcibly displaced rely on aid and handouts that we facilitate, working within a system that often does not provide a way out. Equally, our work creates a dependency that continues this cycle and perpetuates our power.

Since our inception we have become more and more conscious that these power dynamics aren’t just and are wrong, and that the concept of ‘helping’ without enabling long-term solutions and agency is extremely problematic. We’ve built this into our work by prioritising advocacy, partnering with lived experience organisations or organisations that work in a collaborative way with communities to develop strategies but we need to go deeper and do better. The values and work that we ask of our partners have not been reflected in our leadership, we have not moved fast enough and we are still a white-led organisation.

We have been reflecting on where it is right and not right to take up space. We acknowledge how our privilege reflects in our leadership and the conscious and unconscious bias in our decision-making and are determined to examine this and make changes from within. We know that we have a lot to learn, we don’t know what is going to show up in this process but we are committed to acting on what does as we work towards our vision.

We stand in solidarity with Black communities around the world and are in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. We recognise that whilst all oppression is connected it is critical to recognise the additional harm that Black communities face.  Every day, Black communities experience institutional racism within public services such as with policing, criminal justice as well as public hostility. People of colour have always suffered injustice which has led to the race disparities we have seen in the UK and US during the current pandemic.

The Help Refugees and Choose Love community is disproportionately affected by state-led violence and institutional racism. People seeking safety across the globe are dying in the middle of the sea, languishing in inhumane detention facilities, experiencing brutal violence at border crossings, and subjected to forced evictions and violent deportations. This is a direct result of racism and systems of oppression. For Black asylum seekers and refugees the racism faced is often multiplied, and the very reason for displacement is caused by centuries of colonialism. We need to take a more intersectional approach and address the different forms of oppression Black displaced communities face.

Here are some of the concrete actions that we commit to today:

Developing our own awareness and becoming more accountable around race

  • We are beginning a review of all our operational power dynamics, both internally and with our suppliers and external partners.
  • This will be led by experts in race and diversity who are people of colour who we will be accountable to
  • We will review our own decision-making processes and the unconscious biases within them, making this more transparent.
  • All of our team will undertake mandatory anti-racism, anti-oppression, and power and privilege training within the next 3 months.

Diversifying our core team and volunteers

  • We commit to actively diversifying our senior leadership team
  • We will work with experts on our recruitment strategies and organisational culture so that we can recruit and retain more staff from diverse backgrounds
  • In 2020 we will create a new fund (that will be actioned once it is safe to volunteer due to COVID-19) for people of colour to improve equity in our volunteer community. Currently the demographics of volunteers we work with have been largely white, and we have reflected this is because of a range of racist barriers.
  • We will actively recruit more people within our core team with a lived experience background at all levels of our organisation

Increasing our work around Lived Experience

  • At present, 35.5% of the organisations we fund are led by leaders with lived experience. We commit to increasing this to 50% by the end of this year with more and better funding.
  • We commit to shifting the power that we hold to those with lived experience within our community from decision making, to programme design to our communications strategy

Moving from a model of charitable giving to one of social justice

  • For too long, the humanitarian sector has been characterised by imbalanced power structures and patronage. We want a board that has a true understanding of the issues and people we represent. We commit to making our board representative of the communities that we support and the places that we work.
  • We acknowledge the power dynamics of charitable giving and move to a mind-set of social justice
  • By the end of 2020, we will operate solely under the name Choose Love rather than Help Refugees. This unifying name more accurately reflects the change we want to see in the world.
  • We will continue to publicly post updates about our progress to ensure transparency and accountability.

We are committed to move forward with these new steps. If there are other ways we can be better allies, do get in touch. We will be creating a specific email address for feedback that will be monitored by an external group. We are always so grateful to the Choose Love community for letting us know when we could do better.

To everyone fighting for a just world where racism is history and all people can live equally, in safety and freedom – we stand with you, always.

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We’re hiring! Apply to join us as a Communications Assistant (three-month contract)

COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT – SHORT-TERM THREE-MONTH CONTRACT

Please note: applications are no longer being accepted for this role. 

Application deadline: Friday 3 July

Are you a social media ace, with top notch writing and  design skills? Do you create a mean Instagram Story? Do you know what it takes to communicate big ideas, get people on board and talk about difficult issues with sensitivity? Do you have a love of humanity that knows no borders?

If so, you could be the one we’re looking for.

We are looking for a Communications Assistant to take on a short-term, three-month role supporting our communications team, primarily working on creating and moderating web and social media content.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the role will be home-based, with some potential for working in our London office, dependent on how the situation develops.

ABOUT THE ROLE

You will support with:

Social media

  • Create compelling, on-brand content for Facebook, Instagram, twitter on a daily basis. Copywriting skills are a must; design and video editing skills highly desirable.
  • Social listening to ensure Help Refugees is abreast of current issues and debate.
  • Reply to comments and questions on Help Refugees’ social media swiftly, effectively and in organisational tone of voice.
  • Work with Help Refugees colleagues in field teams to source content about our work on the ground.
  • Support the Communications team in planning and delivery of exciting content around key moments.

 Website

  • Help keep Help Refugees and Choose Love websites up-to-date
  • Potentially provide support to new website project.

Fundraising

  • Support Facebook Birthday Fundraisers.
  • Support individual and community fundraisers on our website.
  • Support online fundraising, including supporter emails and social media fundraising appeals.

Other responsibilities as necessary

  • Support on internal collating and storing of photography, video and stories.
  • Support media engagement on Help Refugees’ work.
  • Other ad hoc duties as required.

Essential

  • You’re a confident, creative communicator with excellent writing skills.
  • You’re a social media enthusiast with in-depth familiarity with Instagram (including Stories), Facebook and Twitter.
  • You have a passion for justice and human rights, especially refugee rights.

Desirable

Ideally you will bring at least one of these to our work:

  • Lived experience of displacement or migration.
  • A track record of using social media platforms to raise awareness, organise and/or fundraise.
  • Design skills, using tools such as InDesign or Photoshop; ability to create beautiful and impactful visual content.
  • Basic video editing skills.
  • Experience working in the field of humanitarian aid, refugees or migration.

ABOUT YOU

You choose love 

You are motivated by a love of humanity that knows no borders.

You are a doer 

You spot opportunities for impact and make things happen. You are comfortable working on scrappy passion projects and longer-term strategic campaigns. A good day is when you’ve done something to change the world.

You are a creative communicator 

You know the world is changed by stories and you want to be at the heart of telling them. You can communicate complex ideas with clarity, powerful stories with passion and understand how to move people.

You are curious 

You know good ideas can come from anywhere and are constantly looking at the world around you for inspiration.

You are a team player

You work best when part of a small, collaborative team. You are happy to muck in when needed and the words ‘not my job’ have never crossed your lips.

You are entrepreneurial

You think beyond the limits of your current role. You take risks, celebrate failure and never stop generating ideas.

ABOUT HELP REFUGEES

In August 2015, a group of friends started using the hashtag #helpcalais to organise a van full of donations. Within a week, we had raised £56,000 and were soon receiving 7,000 items every day.

We are now one of the largest providers of grassroots humanitarian aid in Europe, and currently support over 120 projects across Europe, the Middle East and US-Mexican border.

Each of these projects is powered by ordinary people who are stepping up where governments are failing to provide even the most basic services. From those keeping rescue boats afloat, to the volunteers distributing tents and hot food, to the brave souls working under the desert sun to place water along the Mexican border.

We also support those working to build a brighter future — the teachers working to ensure refugee kids don’t miss out on an education, the therapists helping heal the invisible scars of war, and the lawyers working to unite families.

Our ‘Choose Love’ brand has been worn by Oprah, Julia Roberts, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and thousands more across the world. Our ‘buy nothing’ pop-up stores in London, New York and LA have raised more than four million and gained headlines in New York Times, The Guardian and CNN. Our founders have addressed audiences including Barack Obama, Sheryl Sandberg and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

TERMS

  • The role will report to the Communications Manager.
  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the role will work from home with high levels of communication via Zoom and phone. Depending on the situation, there may be potential for some working from our Somerset House office.
  • This is a three-month role, starting as soon as possible.
  • Salary will be in line with other NGOs.

HOW TO APPLY 

Help Refugees does not discriminate in employment matters on the basis of race, colour, religion, gender, age, sexuality or any other protected class. We support workplace diversity and believe it creates dynamic, relevant organisations, fostering spaces for innovation and creativity. We are working hard to increase the diversity of our team and encourage you to be a part of it.

We are committed to making our roles and culture inclusive. We can make reasonable adjustments throughout the application process and on the job. If you have particular accessibility needs, please get in touch and let us know any requirements you may have.

Please note: applications are no longer being accepted for this role. 

We particularly encourage you to include links to any writing, films, images or other content that you have created, that help demonstrate you meet the requirements set out in this job description.

CVs without cover letters will not be considered.

Application deadline: Friday 3 July

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Show us how you Choose Love

Choose love is a simple, but powerful message. At a time when the world faces many challenges; when a rhetoric of hate and division has forced itself centre stage; we believe sharing this simple message has never been more vital.

 

Join us this #WorldRefugeeDay and colour in your own beautiful design – share your creation on your socials, or display it in your window. Show the world that you choose love.

 

PRINT YOUR COPY NOW

 

Print out a blank illustration, get creative, and share on your socials – let your imagination inspire others! #chooselove

 

Choose Love Drawing

Thank you Anissa for this beautiful illustration 💛

 

#RefugeeWeek2020

 

 

 

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What headline would you love to see?

Breaking News

 

Join us and build a newsroom in your living room this weekend. You get to write the headlines – imagine the stories you want to see, and then let’s start working towards making them a reality.

 

The theme for #RefugeeWeek2020 is Imagine. There is power in imagination. Remember, the future is not decided. A hundred years ago voting equality wasn’t thought possible. But enough people imagined a different sort of world. And we got there.

 

PRINT YOUR COPY NOW

 

Print out a blank newspaper, get creative, and share on your socials – let your imagination inspire others. Why not also stick it up to remind yourself every day what you’re fighting for. Then maybe, in a year, or ten, you’ll clear out a draw and you’ll find it, and maybe those dream headlines will have become a reality.

 

Choose Love DailyWith all our thanks and love to arcstudio.co for the illustration 🧡

 

#RefugeeWeek2020

 

 

 

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Glastonbury Weekend Tent Collection

The Glastonbury Festival weekend would have been on the 27th and 28th June. Instead of dancing in the fields, we’re asking our UK-based friends to donate any unwanted tents and sleeping bags in support of refugees and displaced people in northern France, via our partner Collective Aid.

We have 19 incredible local partners across the UK that have agreed to open up their collection points for the weekend of the 27th and 28th June to help us do this. Please get family and friends on board and help us gather as many tents and sleeping bags as possible.

Check the map below to find your nearest drop-off point and email them to book a time slot. And if you are going to get involved you can find our guidance about doing this safely here. Please always adhere to government guidance.

If you can’t travel or don’t have tents to donate, you can still buy tents and sleeping bags for refugees and displaced people from the Choose Love store – just go to www.choose.love.

 

 

This project is in partnership with:

Tent Collection Collective Logos

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Over 220 organisations write to the Home Secretary demanding an increase asylum support rates

Imagine having to survive on a little over £5/day – unable to work, unable to access any other forms of help. Living on Asylum Support was already impossible, but with food banks and charity’s doors closed due to the COVID pandemic, is even more shocking and dangerous. Along with other organisations, we’ve been asking the government to increase the Asylum Support payment so that people seeking asylum aren’t forced, especially at such as dangerous time, to have to choose between food and medicine.

The 65p per day increase announced this week is not an increase. It is an insult.

We join 220+ organisations across the UK in writing to the UK Home Office asking for real change to this.


Dear Secretary of State,

COVID-19 pandemic: asylum support rates

As over 200 organisations working with and alongside people seeking asylum in the UK, we believe your decision announced to parliament yesterday to grant an increase of just £1.85 in the weekly rate of asylum support is wholly unacceptable.

It would not allow people to meet their essential living needs in normal times; and it completely fails to take account of the additional needs and severe pressures placed on individuals and families during a public health emergency. We urge you to immediately reconsider this decision.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected us all, but it is not affecting us all equally. The challenges for those left to live on little more than £5 a day have been further exacerbated in the current crisis.

We know that people seeking asylum have serious problems being able to afford enough food to feed their families, and are making impossible choices between food, cleaning materials, nappies and over the counter medication. We know families are struggling with the realities of home-schooling without internet access or sufficient educational resources to support their children’s development. We know people worry about their ability to self-isolate as they cannot afford to stock up on provisions. Following Public Health England’s recent analysis, we know that people from BAME backgrounds, which includes the vast majority of people seeking asylum in the UK, are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Following government guidance to ‘stay alert’ or ‘stay at home’ is profoundly more difficult when you are living in poverty.

Welcome measures taken by the UK Government to “strengthen the safety net” for those in receipt of mainstream benefits during the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in increases to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by approximately £20 per week. The speed with which these decisions were taken is in marked contrast to the length of time taken to reach a decision on asylum support rates. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, asylum support rates were already significantly less than mainstream benefits; following the uplift, it is now barely 40% of the allowance people over 25 receive on Universal Credit.

People seeking asylum are effectively banned from working, leaving them entirely reliant upon asylum support to avoid destitution. It is imperative that the safety net for people in the asylum system is equally and immediately strengthened, enabling people to keep themselves and their families safe.

We are united in calling on the UK Government to reconsider its decision; and increase the rate of asylum support to allow people seeking asylum to meet their essential living needs during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

Due to the urgency of the current situation, we are calling on the Home Office to immediately ensure that asylum support rates receive the same £20 Covid-related uplift as Universal Credit. 

In addition, we call for the link with mainstream benefits to be reinstated by setting asylum support at 70% of Universal Credit to ensure people seeking asylum are able to meet their needs both during, and outside of, a public health pandemic.

Every week, organisations have provided the Home Office with evidence on how people seeking asylum are struggling to meet their essential living needs in these emergency circumstances. We believe it is both a moral and a public health imperative that asylum support rates are increased immediately.

In recent months the Prime Minister has confirmed to parliament on two separate occasions that the Government will address the wellbeing of people seeking asylum during the Covid-19 pandemic. On 25 March he told MPs that vulnerable groups including asylum seekers will certainly receive the Home Office funding that they need and deserve” during the pandemic. On 13 May he stated“We will make sure that nobody in this country, let alone asylum seekers, is ill-treated”. It is clear that this decision does not meet those commitments. We urge you to reconsider your decision as a matter of urgency.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and to working with your ministers and officials to address these matters in the very near future.

Yours sincerely

Abigail Housing – Amanda Church-Mcfarlane, Destitution Project Coordinator

Action for Children – Carol Iddon, Deputy Chief Executive

Action Foundation – Julian Prior, Chief Executive

African Rainbow Family – Aderonke Apata, Founder

After Exploitation – Maya Esslemont, Director

Amnesty International – Steve Valdez-Symonds, Programme Director, Refugee and Migrant Rights

Amnesty Kirklees – Matthew Ambler, Group Secretary

ARC Project Blackburn – Saida Soge, Manager

Asylum Support Appeals Project – Alice Webb, Director

ASIRT – Dave Conroy, Director

ASSIST Sheffield – Richard Chessum and Jerry Seymour, Joint Chairs

Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees – Ali McGinley, Director

Asylum Education & Legal Fund – Amanda Sebestyen, Co-ordinator

Asylum Justice – Emmy Chater

Asylum Link Merseyside – Ewan Roberts, Manager

Asylum Matters – Paul Hook, Project Director

Asylum Seekers and Refugees Group – Peter Gowland, Acting Chairperson

Asylum Welcome – Almas Farzi, Front Line Services Manager

Baobab Women’s Project – Sarah Taal, Director

Baptist Union of Great Britain – Revd David Mayne, Moderator of Council

Barnsley Borough City of Sanctuary – Frank Parnham, Chair

Barnsley Stand up to Racism – Fran Postlethwaite, Secretary

Barnsley Trades Union Council – George Arthur, Secretary

BEACON (Bradford Ecumenical Asylum Concern) – Katy Armistead, Team Leader

Bearwood Action for Refugees- Josh Evans, Vice Chair

BIASAN – Sue Balcomb, Campaigns Coordinator

Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid – Shazna Islam, Operations Manager

Birmingham City of Sanctuary – Dr David Brown, Chairman

Birmingham Community Hosting Network – Andrew Jolly, Trustee

Blackburn Amnesty International Group – Irene Ryan, Chairperson

Boaz Trust – Ros Holland, Chief Executive

Bradford Friendship Choir – Fran Wyburn, Musical Director

Bradford Homeless & New Arrivals Health Team, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust –  Nikki Harvey, Mental Health Practitioner

Bradford Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Survivors Service – Jane Gregory, Manager – Finance, Fundraising & Service Development

Bristol Refugee Rights – Beth Wilson, Director

British Red Cross – Mike Adamson, Chief Executive

Burslem Jubilee Project – Sheila Podmore, Project Leader and Trustee

Calderdale Valley of Sanctuary – Laurence Larroche, Committee Member

Care4Calais – Clare Moseley, Founder

CARIS Haringey – Gloria Saffrey, Director

Central Asylum Yorkshire – Lucy Lucy, Chair

Central England Law Centre – Sue Bent, Chief Executive

City of Sanctuary – Sian Summers-Rees, Chief Executive

Church of Scotland – The Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, Convener of Faith Impact Forum

Cohesion Sheffield – Panni Loh, Cohesion Sheffield Co-ordinator

Connected Voice – Lisa Goodwin, Chief Executive

Coventry Refugee & Migrant Centre – Toni Soni, Centre Director

Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group (CARAG) – Loraine Masiya Mponela, Chairperson

Creative Minds Community Organisation – Ramatoulie Saidykhan, Chair and Founder

Croydon Refugee Day Centre – Peter D Hall, Co-ordinator

Derby Refugee Advice Centre – Janet Fuller, Project Manager

Derbyshire LGBT+ – Ian Robson, Chief Executive

Destination Barnsley – Alan Curtis, Secretary

Destitute Asylum Seekers Huddersfield – Maeve Larkin, Manager

Destitution Project Bolton – Shaheda Mangerah, Asylum Seekers and Refugees Caseworker

Detention Action – Bella Sankey, Director

Displaced People in Action (DPIA) – Faruk Ogut, Chief Coordinator

Doncaster Conversation Club – Nic Burne and Jan Foster, Trustee

Doncaster Minster – Fr Daniel Parkinson, Assistant Curate

Durham City of Sanctuary – Susan F Frenk, Co-Chair

Eagles Wing Bury – Sue Arnall, Honorary Treasurer

Enable 2 – Liz Weatherill, Managing Director

End Destitution NI – Sipho Sibanda, End Destitution Coordinator

Entraide (Mutual Aid) – Felix Kupay, Chairperson

Europe Roma UK – Ladislav Balaz, Chair

Family Refugee Support Project – Jason Ward, Director / Senior Therapist

Fatima House – Mauricio Silva, Co-ordinator

4Wings Northwest CIC – Ciiku Sondergaard, Director, Projects Coordinator

Freed Voices

Freedom From Torture – Sonya Sceats, Chief Executive

Friends of the Drop in for Asylum Seekers and Refugees – Sandra Watt, Manager

The Gap Wales – Mark Seymour, Refugee Project Manager

Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group – Anna Pincus, Director

Govan Community Project – Traci Kirkland, Head of Charity

Grassington and District Peace Group – Richard Hargreaves, Newsletter Editor and

Information Coordinator

Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit – Denise McDowell, Chief Executive

Growing Together Levenshulme – Jaqui Cotton, Project Co-ordinator

HAAS – Steve Hibbs, Secretary

Hackney Migrant Centre – Daf Viney, Director of Services

Halton & St Helens VCA – Sally Yeoman, Chief Executive

Haringey Migrant Support Centre – Karolina Maroszek, Centre Manager

Hastings and District Trades Union Council – Ian Stewart, International Officer

Hastings Community of Sanctuary – Polly Gifford/ Jane Grimshaw, Co-Chairs

Hastings Immigration Campaign Team – Dr Felicity Laurence, Director

Hastings Lift the Ban Campaign South – Jay Kramer, Director

Hastings Voluntary Action – The Links Project – Marc Turczanski, Project Coordinator

Helen Bamber Foundation – Kerry Smith, Chief Executive

Help Refugees / Choose Love – Josie Naughton, Chief Executive

Herefordshire City of Sanctuary – Jonathan Hopkinson, Secretary

Honeycomb Group – Diane Thompson, Chief Executive

Hope Projects – Phil Davis, Co-ordinator

Host Nottingham – Jane Henson, Chair

House Of Rainbow CIC – Jide Macaulay, Founder & CEO

Housing 4 All – Aylisha Hogan, Organiser

Iberian and Latin American Association – Dr Patricia Rodríguez-Martínez-Jones, Chairperson

Ice and Fire – Sebastian Aguirre, Director – Actors for Human Rights

International Community Organisation of Sunderland (ICOS) – Michal Chantkowski,

Development and Services Manager

Islington Law Centre – Roopa Tanna, Solicitor

Jewish Council for Racial Equality – Dr Edie Friedman, Executive Director

Jesuit Refugee Service – Sarah Teather, Director

Jill Franklin Trust – Norman Franklin, Trustee

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants – Satbir Singh, Chief Executive

Just Fair – Jess McQuail, Director

Justice First – Barbara Hungin, Chair of Trustees

Kings Heath Action for Refugees – Rosie Gunn, Chair and Founder

Kirklees Multi-Agency Group – Bill Dennis, Chair

Learn for Life Enterprise – Hayley Nelson, Director

Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network – Jon Beech, Director

Leeds Refugee Forum – Ali Mahgoub, Director

Leeds Unity Centre – Natasha Jarratt, Director

Leicester City of Sanctuary – Pete Hobson, Chair of Trustees

Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network – Rosario Guimba-Stewart, Chief Executive

LGBT Health and Wellbeing – Maruska Greenwood, Chief Executive

Lifeline Options – David Forbes, Manager

Mafwa Theatre – Keziah Berelson, Co-Artistic Director

Manchester City of Sanctuary – Liz Hibberd, Strategic and Partnership Lead

MAP Middlesbrough – Ailsa Adamson, Project Manager

Mary Thompson Fund – Pete Widlinski, Chair

Maternity Action – Ros Bragg, Director

Meeting Point Armley – Emma Crossley, Project Manager

Mencap Liverpool & Sefton – Sarah Jones, Chief Executive

Merseyside Law Centre – Siobhan Taylor-Ward, Solicitor and Our Liverpool Coordinator

Merseyside Refugee Support Network – Seána Roberts, Manager

Methodist Church in Britain – Revd Dr Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference

Micro Rainbow – Sebastian Rocca, Founder and CEO

Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit (MiCLU) – Lisa Payne, Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer

Migrant Voice – Nazek Ramadan, Director

Migrants at Work – Ake Achi, Founder and Director

Migrants’ Law Project – Sonal Ghelani

MindOut – Helen Jones, Chief Executive

Minsteracres Retreat Centre – Liz Holmes, Outreach Coordinator

MotherShip – Leonie Hart, Chair

NACCOM – Hazel Williams, Director

North East Law Centre – Clare Hurst, Senior Solicitor

North of England Refugee Service – Dr Mohamed Nasreldin, Director

Northumberland County of Sanctuary – Ben Hopkinson, Secretary and Trustee.

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum – Matt Atkins, Director

Nottingham Arimathea Trust – Caron Boulghassoul, Chief Executive

Oasis Church, Birmingham – Rob & Margaret Hooper, Church Pastors

One September Ltd, Liverpool – Aleasha Chaunte, Co-Director

Open Door (North East) – Louisa Henderson, Destitution Services Manager

PAFRAS – Karen Pearse, Director

Penistone Asylum Seekers and Refugee Support Group – Gina Hawkins, Chair

Praxis – Sally Daghlian OBE, Chief Executive

Project 17 – Abi Brunswick, Director

Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (QARN) – Catherine Henderson, Steering Group Lead

Rainbow Haven – Kate Percival, Manager

RASA (Rape & Sexual Abuse) Merseyside – Sarah Wood, Wirral Centre Manager

Reach Project Huddersfield – Rev. Ernie Whalley, Chair of Management Committee

Refugee Action – Stephen Hale, Chief Executive

Refugee Action York – John Williamson, Volunteer Co-ordinator

Refugee Council – Maurice Wren, Chief Executive

Refugee Education Training Advice Service Leeds – Fidelis Chebe, Operations and Development Manager

Refugee Support Devon – Nelida Montes de Oca, Casework Co-ordinator

Refugee Women Connect – Alison Moore, Chief Executive

Regional Refugee Forum – Suraiya Riyaz, Secretary

REPOD Resettlement Programme for Overseas Doctors – Dr Margaret Hinman, Volunteer

Restore – a project of Birmingham Churches Together – Jeremy Thompson, Manager

Right to Remain – Lisa Matthews, Co-ordinator

Room to Heal – Elli Free, Director

Saabat Gallery – Azad Mohammed, Director

Safe Passage International – Beth Gardiner-Smith, Chief Executive

Salaam Community Centre – Zeba Alam, Manager

Saltburn and East Cleveland Befrienders – Alan Hiscox, Treasurer

Samphire Ex-Detainee Project – Tanya Long, Director

Sanctuary Hosting – Sarah Wahby, Service Manager

Sanctuary Kirklees – Jane Wood, Trustee

Sanctus – Revd Sally Smith

Sante Refugee Mental Health Access Project – Edward Milner, Chair

Scottish Episcopal Church – Most Reverend Mark Strange, Primus and Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness

Scottish Refugee Council – Sabir Zazai, Chief Executive

Shap Ltd – Janine Iyanda, Operations Manager

Sheffield City of Sanctuary – Thomas Martin, Director

Shpresa Programme – Luljeta Nuzi, Chief Executive

Shropshire Supports Refugees – Amanda Jones, Director

Sisters United – Veecca Smith Uka, Chair

Skipton Refugee Support Group – Judy Rogers, Vice Chair

SOGICA Project – Dr Carmelo Danisi, Dr Moira Dustin, Professor Nuno Ferreira, Dr Nina Held

Solace – Kathryn Ashworth, Chief Executive

South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group – Stuart Crosthwaite, Secretary

South Yorkshire Refugee Law and Justice – Hilary Smith, Co-ordinator

St Bede with St Clement Church – Elaine Jones, Vicar

St Mary’s Cathedral Justice and Peace Group – Teresa Lyth, Chair

St Peter’s Church, Stockton-on-Tees – Revd Bill Braviner

St Augustine’s Centre – Becky Hellewell, Senior Caseworker

Stafford Welcomes Refugees – Netta Cartwright, Founder and Educational co-ordinator

Staffordshire North and Stoke-on-Trent CAB – Jude Hawes, Specialist Services and Equalities Team Manager

STARCH (South Tyneside Asylum Seekers and Refugees Church Help) – Margaret Gregg, Secretary

Steve Biko Housing Association Ltd – Tracey Gore, Director

Stonewall – Leanne M MacMillan, Director

Stories of Hope and Home – Steph Neville, Project Manager and Founder

Student Action for Refugees – Emily Crowley, Chief Executive

Suffolk Refugee Support – Martin Simmonds, Fundraising & Communications Officer

Sunderland Black and Minority Ethnic Network Limited – Michal Chantkowski, Board Secretary

Sustain the Alliance for Better Food and Farming – Kath Dalmeny, Chief Executive

Swansea Asylum Seekers Support – Professor Tom Cheesman, Chair of Trustees

TCC (Trefnu Cymunedol Cymru/Together Creating Communities) – Kay Polley & Sam Rex-Edwards, Lead organisers

TGP Cymru – Mike Clark, Director of Family Services

The Anchor Project – Indi Elcock, Project Co-ordinator

The Brunswick Centre – John McKernaghan, Chief Officer

The Church at Carrs Lane – Rev Dr Neil Johnson and Rev Cristina Cipriani

The Greenhouse Project – Debbie Wright, Chief Executive

The Liberal Jewish Synagogue – Alexandra Wright, Senior Rabbi

The Refugee and Migrant Centre Ltd – Arten Llazari, Chief Executive

Tiber Community Building – John Ramsden, Chair

Together with Migrant Children – Nick Watts, Director

Trinity Centre – Heather Cox, Treasurer

Tyne and Wear Anti Fascist Association – Mick Bowman, Chair

UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group – Leila Zadeh, Chief Executive

United Reformed Church – Revd Nigel Uden, Moderator of General Assembly

Unity in Diversity – David Borwell, Secretary and Co-ordinator

Unity in Poverty Action (UPA) – Mary Halsey, Development Worker

University of Liverpool Law Clinic – Judith Carter, Lecturer and in-house Solicitor

Unseen – Kate Garbers, Director

Upbeat Communities – Andrew Jackson, Chief Executive

Upper Wharfedale Refugee Support Group – Stella Perrott, Coordinator

Voices in Exile – Mel Steel, Director

Volunteers Together Project – Marie Allainguillaume, Project Coordinator

Waging Peace – Maddy Crowther, Co-Executive Director

Wakefield Baptist Church – Flora Davies, Farsi Worker

Wakefield City of Sanctuary – Geoff Fielding, Trustee

Walking With in North Tyneside – David McKenzie, Chair of Trustees

Welcome Group Halesowen – Andrew Harwood, Project Manager and Chair

Welsh Centre for International Affairs – Susie Ventris-Field, Chief Executive

Welsh Refugee Council – Andrea Cleaver, Chief Executive

West London Welcome Centre for Refugees and Migrants – Joanne MacInnes, Director

Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary – Alan Marriott, Chair

Women for Refugee Women – Natasha Walter, Director

Women Centre Kirklees – Sobiya Din, Senior Mental Health Facilitator and Volunteer Coordinator

Yarls Wood Befrienders – Nicky Woods, Chief Executive

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We’re hiring! Apply to join Help Refugees as our Northern France Field Manager

We are looking for a Field Manager to join our team in Pas-de-Calais.

Applications are open now!

 

About the Organisation

Help Refugees is the largest grassroots humanitarian organisation working with refugees in Europe and the Middle East. Providing funding and support for over 100 of the most effective locally-led groups working on the frontlines, we act fast to help those who need it most.

Help Refugees was founded in 2015 to provide emergency aid and vital services to those affected by the global refugee crisis. We quickly became the primary aid-provider in the Calais ‘Jungle’, whilst also funding and supporting projects elsewhere in Europe and the Middle East.

Whilst the Calais ‘Jungle’ has been evicted, Help Refugees continues to support over 1,500 refugees in the region and is one of the main funders of grassroots organisations working in the area, providing fire wood, clothing, legal services, accommodation etc.

 

Purpose of the role: To manage the Northern France operations of Help Refugees

 

Key areas of responsibility:

    • Grant management
            • Monitoring and evaluation of partner projects
            • Maintain regular contact and build trusted relationships with partner projects
            • Ensure timely submission of project reports by coordinating with partners
            • Allocating resources based on needs, local developments and strategic direction
    • Context analysis and representation
            • Understand context in Northern France and keep up to date with the situation
            • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with all actors to enhance cooperation and coordination between organisations
            • Represent Help Refugees at inter-association meetings and in Northern France
            • Act as the link between Northern France and London-based team
            • Participate in report writing and in proposal writing relevant to the operation and context in the region 
    • External communication
            • Work with the campaigns, communications and advocacy teams to raise awareness of the situation in Northern France and issues affecting partners
            • Be a point of contact for media when required
            • Contribute to British-French cross-border collaboration in addressing the violation of human rights at the border
    • Partner support
            • Deliver training sessions (trainer training will be provided)
            • Liaise with external training providers where appropriate
            • Procurement of emergency aid
            • Operational support on issues that arise in the field

Essential criteria:

  • Highly proactive and organised, able to manage and prioritise a busy workload
  • Calm and measured in intense, stressful situations
  • Diplomatic and patient, with conflict resolution skills
  • Field experience in humanitarian aid
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to act and write sensitively with complex and challenging topics, in a range of tones
  • French language proficiency
  • Proficiency with Google Docs, spreadsheets and other presentation tools

 

Desired criteria:

  • Full driving license
  • Experience chairing cross association meetings
  • Knowledge of the regional and European migration situation
  • NGO management/leadership experience

 

Application:

Please send your CV and a one-page cover letter to jobs@helprefugees.org  

This post will remain open until filled. We are actively reviewing applications and interviewing on a rolling basis.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

 

We are committed to providing equality and fairness for all and not discriminating on grounds of gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, nationality, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, mental health, religion or age. We encourage and celebrate the different qualities that our colleagues, and others we work with, bring to our work. We believe that seeing things from a wide range of different perspectives helps us to resolve problems, adapt our approaches and develop as an organisation. We want to bring greater diversity to our team and we’re keen to receive applications from people who believe they would do this.

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8,300 refugees to be evicted from their homes in Greece – Joint Letter to EU and Greek officials

Thousands of refugees in Greece are about to be evicted from their homes. 8,300 people, many of whom are families with children, are now facing an increased risk of homelessness amidst a global pandemic.

Just one of these people is B. She is a single mother of three children after losing her husband in their country of origin, Iraq. She now has until the end of this month to leave her home, but with nowhere else to go, the family risk ending up on the streets.

Today, alongside 62 organisations, we released a statement to EU and Greek officials, calling on them to urge the Greek government to reconsider. The human rights to dignity, equality, and inclusion must be respected.

The full Joint Letter is below.

 

Joint letter to: 

The Minister of Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachis 

The European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson

The European Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas

 

The undersigned organisations express their grave concern about the upcoming exits of at least 8,300 recognised refugees from accommodation and cash assistance schemes in Greece by the end of May 2020. A considerable number of these people, of which a large proportion are families with children, are facing an increased risk of homelessness amidst a global pandemic.

Refugees who have received international protection are being forced to leave apartments for vulnerable people in the Emergency Support to Integration & Accommodation programme (ESTIA), hotels under the Temporary Shelter and Protection programme (FILOXENIA), Reception and Identification Centres (RICs) and refugee camps. Almost simultaneously, financial assistance in the form of EU implemented and supported cash cards will stop. These upcoming measures will affect the livelihood of at least 4,800 people who need to leave ESTIA accommodation, 3,500 people who need to leave RICs and hosting facilities, as well as 1,200 refugees who are self-accommodated and receive cash assistance. 

The Hellenic Integration Support for Beneficiaries of International Protection programme (HELIOS) provides integration courses and contribute towards rental costs up to a maximum of twelve months for those that have to leave accommodation. In practice, out of 8,752 people enrolled in the HELIOS programme, only 1,590 people receive rental subsidies. 82 percent of people who enrolled in HELIOS since 2019 do not yet receive rental subsidies. To benefit from the HELIOS programme beneficiaries need to have a high level of independence and self-sufficiency. Beneficiaries need to provide a tax number, a bank account and procure a rental agreement to receive HELIOS support. As the Greek bureaucratic system is difficult to navigate, doubly so for non-Greek speakers, people face enormous challenges in finding accommodation, paying deposits, and enrolling in HELIOS. Other than the HELIOS programme which is only available to recognised refugees, apart from a few fragmented municipal and NGO initiatives there is no alternative social support, especially at the reception stage, which in Greece can last up to three years. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in Greece but restrictions on movement and measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 have disproportionately affected the population that now needs to leave accommodation. Lockdown has also meant that people have had no possibility to search for alternative housing, find employment or arrange the necessary requirements to enter the HELIOS programme. Even now that restrictions are slowly being lifted throughout the whole of Greece, life is far from returning to normal, especially for those in Reception and Identification Centres on the Aegean islands and the hosting facilities Ritsona, Malakasa and Koutsohero where restrictions on movement are extended until 7 June 2020. 

At least 8,300 people need to leave their accommodation by the end of May and only a small percentage are provided with integration support (including rental subsidies) through the HELIOS programme. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that people are almost simultaneously losing cash assistance from the cash card assistance programme. Although both ESTIA and HELIOS programmes are funded by DG HOME and implemented by the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum, there is no linkage between them to ease the transition from one to the other. As a result, a considerable number of vulnerable people will be left without any support or prospect of integration and will have to face a severely increased risk of becoming homeless. Bureaucratic obstacles have meant that many of these people do not have a tax number or a bank account, both necessary to get a job or rent an apartment. Indeed, according to UNHCR, only 7 percent of recognised refugees in the ESTIA programme have a bank account and 75 percent have a tax number. To make matters worse, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible for people to find employment, alternative housing or arrange documentation for the HELIOS integration programme. 

Therefore, we urgently request you to ensure that: 

  • The deadline of exits from ESTIA, FILOXENIA, RICs and refugee camps are extended beyond the end of May so that people have adequate time to find alternative accommodation, search for employment and fully enrol in the HELIOS integration programme after being under restrictive measures since 13 March 2020. No one should face the risk of homelessness amid an ongoing global pandemic. 
  • The monthly financial support under the EU implemented (and supported) cash card assistance programme is extended for those who need to exit accommodation and face the risk of homelessness. 
  • Elderly people, people with serious medical problems and single parents, are included in the extension of exits from accomodation in addition to those already deemed extremely vulnerable such as women in the last terms of their pregnancy and women with high-risk pregnancies. 
  • A bridge is created between ESTIA and other reception accommodation to the HELIOS program which also includes self-accommodated people. Currently self-accommodated people cannot enrol in the HELIOS programme but still need integration support and financial assistance after receiving international protective status. 
  • Bureaucratic barriers are removed so that asylum seekers have access to all the legal documents they are entitled to, such as a social security number, a  tax number, and a bank account, so that people are able to seek employment and accommodation, to guarantee the right to housing.
  • A coherent and long term strategy on integration and housing is created as recent legislation requires newly recognised refugees to leave accommodation within 30 days instead of six months, significantly reducing the time for people to prepare themselves.


We remain at your disposal for more information.

Signed by,

A Drop in the Ocean

Action for Education

Action for Women

ANTIGONE – Information and Documentation Centre on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non Violence

ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth

Bridge2

CHEERing: Center for Health Equity, Education and Research International Group

Cribs International

Danish Refugee Council (DRC)

DIOTIMA Centre

ECHO100PLUS

Ecological Movement of Thessaloniki

Equal Rights Beyond Borders

Fair Planet

FENIX Humanitarian Legal Aid

foodKIND

Free Movement Skateboarding UK 

Glocal Roots

Greek Helsinki Monitor

Greek Housing Network

Hellenic League for Human Rights

Help Refugees / Choose Love 

HIAS Greece – HIAS Ελλάδος 

Higher Incubator Giving Growth and Sustainability-HIGGS

Humanity Now / Direct Refugee Relief USA

HumanRights360

Humans for Humans

I AM YOU

International Group

Intereuropean Human Aid Association

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

INTERSOS Hellas

INTERSOS Organizzazione Umanitaria

InterVolve

Jesuit Refugee Service Greece (JRS Greece)

Legal Centre Lesvos

Lighthouse Relief (LHR)

Melissa: Network of Migrant Women in Greece

MIGREUROP

Migreurop

Mobile Info Team

Network for Children’s Rights – Δίκτυο για τα Δικαιώματα του Παιδιού

Northern Lights Aid

Omnes

One Happy Family

Pampiraiki Support Initiative for Refugees & Migrants

Project Armonia

Project Elea

ReFOCUS Media Labs

Refugee Legal Support (RLS)

Refugee Trauma Initiative

Refugee Youth Service

Samos Volunteers

ShowerPower Foundation

SolidarityNow

Still I Rise

Symbiosis-School of political studies in Greece, Council of Europe Network of Schools

Terre des hommes Hellas

Thalassa of Solidarity

The Lava Project

Velos Youth 

Verein FAIR.

Wave – Thessaloniki

Yoga and Sport For Refugees

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Photo: Ayhan Mehmet/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

Families demonstrate in Athens against the upcoming evictions from their homes.

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