Entraide is a well established charity which works alongside asylum seekers, refugees, migrant workers and their dependants in the UK in order to facilitate their integration into society.
They are currently the only organisation in Solihull providing support specifically to asylum seekers, refugees and migrant workers.
The need to set up this group emerged from a small scale research carried out between December 2008 and April 2009 by their chair on the integration of Congolese refugees living in the West Midlands (Kupay, Felix, 2009, Transition, Agency and Integration: The Experiences of Congolese Refugees in the West Midlands; Dissertation submitted for the degree of MA Social Policy in the Institute of Applied Social Studies, University of Birmingham).
This research found that Congolese asylum seekers and refugees who came to the West Midlands in general and to the North of Solihull in particular faced several difficulties at each stage of their exile experience and various barriers and constraints to their integration into society. The major constraints and barriers identified included: the lack of fluency in English which prevented them from easily interacting with other people, accessing basic services or finding jobs; the unfamiliarity with the UK welfare, healthcare, education systems and the lack of support and information that could facilitate integration into society.
Some asylum seekers and refugees interviewed during the study explained how for example they were unable to access health services during the first few months of their arrival in the UK because GP practices were not providing interpreters. Many refugees told us that they were struggling to fill benefits, housing or job application forms or did not know who to turn to if they needed advice.
Most asylum seekers and refugees interviewed had very little knowledge of or access to mainstream support and advice organisations and agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Law Centres, Social Services, Jobcentres and in some cases, even of the Refugee Council which was frequently perceived as being part of the Home Office. Their research also found that most of these organisations frequently failed to meet the needs of asylum seekers, refugees and migrant workers.
Their group was set up to fill this gap in provision.
A world where asylum seekers and refugees are safe, respected and live free from persecution and where people in Africa live life to its fullness, free from poverty.
ENTRAIDE will work to empower asylum seekers and refugees in the West Midlands to rebuild their lives and fully integrate into society. They will also work to empower marginalised communities in Africa enabling them to lead fulfilled lives.
WHAT THEY DO
IN THE UK
Entraide enables refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers in Solihull and the surrounding to access education, health services and social provision by providing advice, advocacy and one-to-one support.
They network with local agencies which best enhance the life of asylum seekers, refugees and migrant workers.
They provide the following services/ activities for refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers and their dependants.
They implement development projects that empower poor communities in Africa and improve the quality of their lives.
They do this by working in partnership with local organisations based in Africa and operating in the field of education, health, water and sanitation, livelihoods, environment, HIV, rural and urban poverty, informal sector, street children, anti corruption and good governance, etc.
They also carry out research, feasibility studies and evaluation of development projects on behalf on bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs, governments and individuals.
Where is Entraide (Mutual Aid)