Contingency Support

Poverty and Vulnerability are frequently very closely associated with each other. In order to improve World’s well being, it is very important to understand the connections between Poverty and Vulnerability. When individuals are isolated, feeling insecure and powerless in the face of risk, shock or in distress situation. There could be many factors and people may differ in their experiences to risk as a result of their social group, religion, gender, class, ethnicity, and structure of community structure and decision-making process. This may cause people to become vulnerable and develop their vulnerability to cope with situations.
Poverty is also seen as an indicator of lack or limit of access to resources and limited or no opportunities to have income. Meantime there are other features those are contributing factors and positioning people into difficult situations, these elements could be their gender, race, class, religion, ethnicity, and ability to be a part of the dominant culture, society or country’s system. Country’s structure, rules and regulations, policies and decision-making process could be the factors those determine poor people’s vulnerability.
As of Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka like many other countries are not parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Refugee Convention) or its 1967 Protocol, Countries have no refugee law or formalized asylum procedures. The lack of a legal framework leaves refugees and asylum seekers in a precarious state, making their stay uncertain and their status unclear. Without legal status, individuals have no right to work, no education and no medical treatment rights. Refugees and Asylum seekers in these countries are deprived of health.

We are pleased to announce that an initiative to support individuals and families those facing hardships has been taken since the inception of the organization. In our Contingency Support Program, we support individuals, families, widows and minor asylum seekers and refugees so they could cope with their daily sufferings and fulfill daily needs. Keeping in view of people’s basic need and rights we distribute necessary food items including children milk and intervene in a very critical situation where people face hardships and no access to food and basic needs.Children are suffering from malnutrition which impacts their growth. Currently, we are supporting families by providing socially, morally and financial support.

There is on-going high need of food for children and families and instantaneous help for these refugees and asylum seekers those are detained in IDC. HOPE runs appeal “FOOD FOR IMPOVERISHED CHILDREN” and encourages public, charities, churches and businesses to join hands for this cause.

Food Integration Support

HOPE works for Refugees and Asylum Seekers those been forced to leave their home country to seek refuge but now are stranded and facing discrimination in Thailand. Social Integration and Support Program will allow refugees to come through their currently hugely challenging process of settlement more comfortably and definitively. As an organisation HOPE has worked on various projects and now working with qualified Counsellors, Social Workers and Educators who have an extensive experience of working with vulnerable groups. HOPE will provide a training course in to allow volunteers to support families and individuals effectively.

This four days course will be run by qualified Health professionals (likely social workers and counsellors) and will involve teaching around empathy, smart goals, and note taking as key points. Volunteers will be required to give 2×2 hour sessions per week to the allocated individual/family. During these times the family/individual can be supported with their main issues of concern. These may be concerns around budgeting, finding work or perhaps even having enough food to eat. Should there be concerns around actually eating the individual or family will be given donations of food. It is expected that the individuals/families in question will often need lots of validation and emotional support to buffer likely post-traumatic stress. The training will help to make our volunteers aware of these issues and good methods of intervention. It is hoped since our volunteers will likely to have gone through the process themselves that they will be able to provide a positive sense of role modelling that they have been able to make it.

Our volunteers will most typically be people who have also come from same country and have already been through this difficult process of settling. We believe this will add to their empathic qualities that they will be able to bring to the volunteer role. The training will be of a very person centred nature and although there is a good general framework to the training much will also be finding out from our volunteers what it was they needed and what they feel would best help. Our trainers come from Counselling, social education and social work background. We initially aim to bring on board 10 volunteers for this first training course. At a later date we wish to employ two trainers who will be in the social work/counselling field who will be able to take over this role of training, as well as supervision and necessary client assessments etc. After this first training course an initial meeting will take place with the client/family whereby the volunteer and supervisor will produce a list of goals for the family to work on for the following six months. Time will be organised for the volunteer to meet with the family either once or twice a week. Each meeting the volunteer will have a few questions for which to get answers for from the client session to be filed away. These will not necessarily be asked directly but it will be expected that this information is obtained from the meeting which will be passed back to the supervisor. This will involve finding information such as how the client presented, what they would like to work on this session, how they report being since the last visit, etc.

A monthly check-in can happen with the supervisor and the client/family. The volunteer will also have a monthly supervision to discuss the client/family and the best ways to proceed. A huge thing we wish to instil throughout the project which is profound yet simple is to give a sense of ‘REASONABLE HOPE’ and ‘VALUE OF BEING THERE’ to families. We want families to be able to feel a sense that they are able to make it through to the next step whatever that may be. Also we want these individuals and families to feel that sense that someone is with them in their situation and able to see the world through their eyes. Obtaining this alone will be a massive marker of the success of the program and we will endeavour to make sure that clients are obtaining this and to direct the project accordingly with this goal in mind. A qualified Counsellor and Social worker will be available via Skype and other social media to be contacted for support and will also be able to provide any extra needed training via online as the program gets up and running. It is anticipated that the project can ultimately come to greater stability through the guidance of our staff. The goal will be for the project to expand through further training, staff, and volunteers so ultimately all refugees are gaining the support required to integrate fully. A further goal is to develop similar programs in different countries such as our home country of New Zealand and others. We see this issue of refugee status and achieving appropriate integration as a global issue which we are determined to tackle effectively.

Social Integration Support Program Bangkok

In October 2017, we have started a program “Psychosocial Support Program”. This program was developed by Mr. Philip Walker (New Beginning Therapy) to support refugees and asylum seekers in Thailand. The training program was mainly designed to train people around basic counselling skills and the value of ‘being there’ while also supporting people to work towards certain goals and also giving practical support e.g. food donations and medical expenses. The training program lasted for 3 days. The people who were trained had been in the situation themselves but had been released into a place of greater stability. They were now in a space where they felt they could support others and due to experiencing what they had, gave them power to be able to give greater empathy.

At the end of this time 3 volunteers were chosen to continue the project. The project has carried on since this time with two volunteers who have been consistently working with stranded families. Families were assessed as to what their main needs are, then they were supported from this point with regular visits. We continue to seek support to fund this project further to allow more volunteers to be able to visit more families. We hope for this to be able to run alongside a greater political awareness of this situation and thereby to promote political change so the families are able to move to another country or to be able to become more integrated into the Thai communityThe people who were trained had been in the situation themselves but had been released into a place of greater stability. They were now in a space where they felt they could support others and due to experiencing what they had, gave them power to be able to give greater empathy.

Our volunteers have been visiting families and providing moral support and making sure that families have adequate information to cope during their difficult times. Volunteers did their best to connect families to the appropriate service which was required as per family need. Volunteers were chosen to receive and manage funds that were sent from New Zealand to support families for their food and emergency needs.

Bangkok Support Program

In 2013, number of families migrated from Pakistan to Thailand as the refugee and seeking asylum.But they became victims of unnecessary detention and stranded hence struggled for the safe place to live with their families in peace and harmony. A group of committed people joined hands and initiated a project of Bangkok asylum seeker support programme. Dr. Khurram Malik made visits to Thailand to access the situation of these refugees and further finding ways to provide support to these refugees and continued to help refugees and raise voice against injustice and human rights violation. During his visits, he met with these refugees along with other key actors and organizations related to support and help refugees in providing asylum.

He met with officials of UNHCR and filed the cases for seeking their support and help. He also met with Thai government officials, ministries and local churches, (Pastor Thoedsak Ajkraasawart from Jaisman Church Bangkok) came forward and joined hands for supporting distressed families those already in Bangkok seeking asylum. Alongside he is also having detail meetings with the families to assess their immediate needs like food, shelter, medicine and other necessities of life.

There are hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers of mainly from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam but Pakistani asylum seekers who are hundreds in number have sought for asylum and facing extreme hardships and their basic Human rights being violated and lost their dignity. These people are stranded and their applications for refugee status is under process and are facing lot of hardships like no legal recognition, no right to work, fear of being arrested, no education, no medical treatment rights and malnutrition.

Initially, HOPE has started provision of support to 10 families in Bangkok comprised of 10 male adults, 10 female adults, 9 boys, and 6 girls. While carrying out the need assessment of these families through interviews and observation find out of their immediate needs of shelter, food, and medicines. Furthermore, a package of the food and non-food items is finalized in consultation with the families consisting of flour, tea, edible oil, rice, lentils, milk, sugar, soap and water bottles. Package of these items for 15 days is provided to the 10 families by HOPE Worldwide by its own resources and much appreciated by the receiving families.

Expressions of Beneficiaries

“We are happy for food given from HOPE organization in very difficult situation as we have no food in our house.”
Haroon

“There was little food available in my house and this time when HOPE NGO came to my house and gave us food, lintels, milk, flour, and rice. We ate and thanks.”
Babar

Empowering Refugees through Craft

  • This project is designed to empower urban refugees and asylum seekers in Bangkok-Thailand.
  • This program is primarily focused on women and young girls to empower and educate them to become more self-sufficient.
  • These women and girls will be given opportunities to learn new skills that can be used to generate an income, which could lead them to gain confidence and a healthier and more productive lifestyle. We have four groups of women who have been trained to learn craft skills.
  • These women anIn these six-week group sessions, trainees were provided with craft material. We have supported women for their transport to attend classes otherwise they would not able to afford to come to class.d girls will be given opportunities to learn new skills that can be used to generate an income, which could lead them to gain confidence and a healthier and more productive lifestyle. We have four groups of women who have been trained to learn craft skills.
  • WELL DONE for our valuable volunteer Josephine Gill who played an enormous role by supporting trainees. In all six-week classes, all candidates who have put their efforts in to learn, attended classes and completed the Craft Course have been awarded with Certificates and been reimbursed for their travel fares. HOPE believes in developing people’s strengths and skills and this course had enhanced their skills and confidence to become more self-sufficient.

Case Studies

Sanjeeda (not real name), 40 years old, has four children, lives in Thailand for three years. Because her husband is sick and had a severe accident in Thailand, she is unable to support her family. She is the only bread-winner in her family. Her husband is confined to a bed, relying on support from charities and other support groups. Sanjeeda has also applied for asylum with UNHCR.

She says that being poor means that her whole life is spent struggling for the survival. Distressing poverty shatters the lives of the poor because they hardly make ends meet. Sanjeeda has been enduring this lifestyle. She, with sad eyes remarks that we have been facing many difficulties and hardships because of no job and a language barrier and every month struggles to meet the family’s needs.

In this hard situation, she met with HOPE team members and was informed about the organization and its programs. She was given the opportunity for six weeks training in craft work under “Empowering Refugees through Craft” Program. HOPE bore all the expenses. She remarks that “I have enjoyed the six-week program and also have received a certificate from the organization”.

Furthermore, she explains that “the HOPE craft program has enhanced my embroidery skills and I have learnt to make new and different craft products such as hand bags, shawls, sweaters, and socks”.

After making all these products, it is very important to have access into the market so that she could earn reasonable prices. With the efforts of the HOPE team, she was able to have access to the market.

“Now I am selling these products and am able to earn enough for providing bread for my children”, says Sanjeeda.

Finally, she thanks the HOPE team for increasing her skills regarding craft and prays that the organization may bloom and work for all those needy women and increase their skills and help them to be independent.

Introduction to Equip with Knowledge and Tools Programme

Purpose of this programme is to equip people to have a better understanding of Country’s system and enjoyment of their rights for safer and happier assimilation in the country. By Equipping people with knowledge and tools for their rights and responsibilities would lead them towards Equal World and to satisfying lives which would improve their self-esteem and promote equality. HOPE took initiative by reaching out newly migrated family where husband and wife have minimal or no understanding of English. This senior couple who recently migrated to the country and have no job and activity so they can keep themselves occupied . The HOPE team started to meet this couple on regular basis by giving them hope and encouragement by taking them out and having meetings. The HOPE team has provided basic cell phone with a sim card so they could communicate with their family and approachable to others. Our initial discussions and meetings involved building their confidence and finding ways to keep themselves occupied and feel included within their community. With the help of volunteers we started to provide weekly ride to church where they meet other families to engage with. After having such an extensive efforts the expressions of the target family were:

“We are happy and feel good when we go out meet people and now we can talk with my daughter and son overseas easily.”

© Hope Worldwide Pakistan