Community support

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

Refugees At Home arranges altruistic hosting for destitute asylum-seekers an refugees with generous hosts. We have made over 180 placements so far and hosted for about 5,500 person nights since we rolled out our organisation in February 2016. Those we host don't have to sleep in parks, on night buses or train stations. Instead of spending the night in demeaning and often frankly dangerous places, they are safe, dry, warm and welconed in a spare room.
Our guests have fled war zones and persecution - many but not all from Syria - and have literally no money, so hosts provide them with a bed, shower and usually food. But many hosts can't afford to pay for travel around London on top of that.
If our guests become isolated from their contacts and communities, their mental health suffers perceptibly.

We would like to issue a travel card, worth £15 - 25 a week to each guest to mitigate isolation and enhance mental well-being and integration. A refugee can't learn British ways if she can't afford to travel to an ESOL class or look for employment.

We have already approached TfL to ask them to donate 30 oyster cards. We will assign these to hosts who would then give them to their guests for the duration of their stay. There will be no overheads: everyone working for Refugees At Home does so wholly voluntarily, our hosts are not reimbursed in any way.

Our project not only assists some of the the most vulnerable people clinging to the fringes of society, people who have fled the horrors of Aleppo or Homs, have been persecuted for their religion in Iran or traficked as sex slaves from Albania, it also spreads understanding and warmth between cultures and within our society. We have have practicing Jews hosting observant Muslims; agnostics hosting Iranian Christians and all sorts, whose religion we don't know, learning about each others cultures and cuisines, learning by living with each other that anyone can become a refugee by the spin of fortune's wheel and that we all have a responsibility for helping others in dire circumstances wholly outside the refugees' control.

A grant from Aviva towards our travel scheme would enable us to deploy a greater range of host and to ensure the well-being of more refugees and asylum-seekers struggling to rebuild their lives in new, and not always very welcoming circumstances.

Refugees At Home

Moment of Pride

Hosting works. The refugee crisis makes us feel hopeless & ineffectual in the face of waves of distressed humanity. But hosting a destitute refugee is something many people can do. It's an incredibly powerful demonstration of empathy with suffering people. That's why I'm proud of Refugees at Home.

Location: London & across England & Wales