PENHA awarded a Big Lottery Fund to support Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Kent, UK
PENHA, for its UK Youth Development Programme, has secured financial support from the National Lottery Awards for All grant for its project ‘Responding to the Needs of Young East African Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Kent, Eastern England’.
The one-year project focuses on Kent County which is best known for its high number of migrants than other counties in the UK due to its proximity to Port of Dover. It is overwhelmingly occupied in dealing with the unprecedented number of unaccompanied young asylum seekers. Getting their number to over a thousand has overstretched it in fulfilling their basic services. The majority of the new comers are within the age range of 14 to 18 who have gone through similar deadly journey experiences of crossing the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea and do share similar challenges and uncertainties about their future. As evidence from national statistics shows they have been affected by multiple socio-economic problems instigated due to cultural differences and shocks, lack of confidence and an acute need for a facilitated integration. As the 16 years old young girl from Eritrea said: 'After a deadly journey, I arrived in a peaceful country that respects my rights. Then I asked myself 'what now?’ A big question with no ready-made answer and leaving me in a career dilemma.' Indeed, career development and integration problem was identified which called for an integrated approach where the interests of the youth, communities and partners maintained.
The project intends to bring the youth and the community to have a better understanding around career building, integration, inter-cultural awareness and migration and build mutual trust through multi-stakeholder engagement. The two core components include:
a) delivering career development and inter-cultural training for 450 unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugee from East Africa, who are identified as the neediest.
b) strengthening refugees and asylum seekers link with local communities and engaging local actors on the refugee issues.
This youth-led project has a total budget of £11,550 of which £9945 is supported by the National Lottery Awards for All grant. In delivering the project, PENHA will collaborate with Canterbury college, Red Cross in Maidstone, Eritrean church in Canterbury and other social support networks.
The Youth Inclusive Development Programme is part of the PENHA London office and works in promoting the youth capacity through inclusive process. It has three key components including youth internship, intergenerational dialogue and integration.