THE MEENA CENTRE
MEENA means LOVE in Pashto. Formerly known as the Unofficial Women’s and Children’s Centre in the Calais “Jungle” the team led by Liz Clegg and Inca Sorrell have set up a centre in Birmingham focusing on the often overlooked women and children in the refugee crisis, only now much closer to home.
Birmingham has an already significant and constantly growing asylum seeking population, and the support services in the area are already at capacity. MEENA are providing invaluable support to asylum seeking women and children, and using their specialised space to help refugee and migrant organisations share information and coordinate their work.
Many of the most vulnerable people who lived in the Calais refugee camp, mainly women and children (as well as single male carers) have ‘made it’ to the UK. MEENA wants to ensure that these individuals, many of whom they consider friends, get the support they need throughout the asylum claim & resettlement process.
The aim of MEENA is to identify any issues, offer support and find solutions so that our friends reach the best possible outcomes in their new lives in the UK. They do this by responding to practical needs, connecting asylum seekers/refugees to the local support networks including advocacy and professional legal advice, and by providing much-needed emotional and psychological support.
MEENA is doing outreach in order to support young people and connect them with the services that are available to them. They will also run workshops to support integration, independent living skills, understanding rights, and do activities that enhance quality of life.