WHO WE ARE?
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.
We 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 our 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. Our research also found that most of these organisations frequently failed to meet the needs of asylum seekers, refugees and migrant workers.
Our group was set up to fill this gap in provision.
OUR VISION, MISSION & VALUES
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. We will also work to empower marginalised communities in Africa enabling them to lead fulfilled lives.
We will advocate on behalf of our clients to ensure they receive the best possible support in order to achieve a satisfactory outcome. We will ensure our beneficiaries are given accurate information based on our knowledge, experience and research.
We will actively involve our beneficiaries in the delivery of our service in a meaningful way. We will strive to help our beneficiaries successfully integrate into our local community.
We will follow through on issues experienced by our beneficiaries until they are resolved. As a staff team we will keep learning and developing ourselves in order to continually improve our service.
We will support people in crisis situations who have nowhere else to turn. We will invest in our staff and volunteers so that they are best placed to help support others
We will help people to re-learn their identity and build their confidence to enable them to fulfil their true potential. We will work with people where they are at, recognizing and embracing the challenges this can present.