Protection, Education & Capacity Building for Vulnerable Refugees & Asylum Seekers
CWS staff are hosted by St. Andrew’s Refugee Services to work with refugees and asylum seekers of all nationalities in Cairo, increasing their ability to meet basic needs through education, legal services and psychosocial support.
Refugee students and clients come from many places, including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Syria. The number of refugees and asylum seekers in Egypt has increased more than four fold in the past three years, primarily due to the Syria crisis. While the need for refugee services and assistance has greatly increased, budgets and resources are being squeezed. CWS is partnering with St. Andrew’s Refugee Services to provide support during this challenging time.
New programs are being developed to respond to the growing needs of refugees, such as working with unaccompanied children and youth. This important new initiative provides education, life skills training, sports and social activities, as well as other means of support to refugee children and youth living in Cairo without family. StARS, with CWS support, has been able not only to continue, but expand, its work in the past year.
The Children’s Education Program at StARS provides primary and secondary education in Cairo for 260 refugee children who would otherwise be unable to enroll in school. The Adult Education Program offers a variety of classes including English, Arabic, sewing, basic computer skills and teacher training, to name a few. The program is looking to further diversify its classes to meet the needs of Cairo’s refugee and migrant population, with particular attention focused on increasing livelihood opportunities for students. Approximately 1,200 students have participated in courses this past year.
The Psychosocial Services offered provide emotional and social support to asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants, focusing on their general well-being. This past year, more than 800 clients received counseling on issues related to mental health, medical needs, financial assistance and housing. Around 700 children and adults participated in a range of group support activities.
Lastly, the Refugee Legal Aid Project employs lawyers to assist refugees and asylum seekers with a range of legal and protection needs. Among the services the program provides is support in gaining refugee status, assistance in the resettlement process for eligible refugees, and workshops in which refugees learn about the legal context for refugees in Egypt. The Refugee Legal Aid Project has assisted more than 2,000 clients in the past year.