The Forum's mentoring project

The Forum's mentoring project

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Refugees Crossing the Mediterranean to Get Into Europe

Immigration is not only a matter of numbers; it is about individuals and their safety. States have a legal and moral obligation to protect their needs and make sure everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Thank you, Dee, for this informative article which gives us some insight into how European Member States are failing to meet basic human rights obligations.

It is estimated that in the past 20 years, up to 20,000 migrants and refugees have died as they crossed the Mediterranean Sea trying to get into Europe. According to the UNHCR, there have been 500 deaths this year alone. The EU border agency claims that there have been 42,000 attempted crossings so far in 2014. Such are the numbers using this route that the UNHCR is now considering the possibility of holding-centres for refugees outside Europe in countries such as Sudan or Libya.

Thursday 17 July 2014

Maternal Mental Health of Refugee and Asylum Seekers in the UK — Five Key Findings

Thank you Dee, for this brilliant piece of article. It put some light on another important group of refugees and asylum seekers, whose mental well-being is often overlooked: migrants mothers.

Although the mental health of refugees and asylum seekers has received much attention in the media, academia and from community-based organisations, women’s maternal mental health-related illnesses are an under-researched area. In her 2014 Race Equality Foundation Briefing Paper “The maternal mental health of migrant women”, Zahira Latif writes, “There are currently no national statistics which show rates of maternal mental health related illnesses among women in the United Kingdom”.

Thursday 10 July 2014

Sewing classes: a proven tool to fight loneliness

Loneliness and isolation is one of the biggest challenges that asylum seekers and refugees fight against when they come to the UK and settle in a country whose social, cultural and community systems work differently from those they are used to, back in their home countries. Cultural differences are usually underestimated and often taken for granted; misunderstandings arise easily. Simple gestures of friendship can be misinterpreted and can make people feel unable to bond with others - and increase the sense of loneliness. It is a vicious circle. Asylum seekers and refugees tend to avoid group activities and new experiences that might help them to increase their self-confidence and live more fulfilling lives.

Monday 7 July 2014

Your rights as a Refugee or Asylum seeker: diversity matters!

Thanks to David for recommending us this informative article. It brilliantly outlines the various entitlements refugees and asylum seekers have in respect to working and studying in the UK. You will also find some useful tips for your job search, if you are entitled to work in the UK, and how to best promote yourself in the competitive job market

Finding positive employers for refugees and asylum seekers

The rights of refugee students and graduates are very different to the rights of asylum-seeking students and graduates so it's important to know your status.

Monday 16 June 2014

Mind the Gap

Thanks to Dee for this follow-up article to the previous post on the practical challenges to integration. This article continues the discussion on mental health that was touched on previously. Through the research project mentioned in the article, this post identifies a number of mental health service issues that many refugees and asylum seekers can relate to.

Disjointed mental health service provision for refugees and asylum seekers

My previous blog looked at some of the practical challenges faced as asylum seekers transition to new refugee status such as ineffective multiagency working, resulting in gaps in service provision, and problems in obtaining ID documents and variations in the types of ID accepted by different organizations.
I now look at some of the challenges experienced by refugees and asylum seekers in accessing and using mental health services. A 2008 report published by the Faculty of Public Health, “The health needs of asylum seekers”, highlighted some of the issues faced by both asylum seekers accessing health services, and health service providers providing health services for asylum seekers. These include frontline staff with limited training in cultural and language differences, limited knowledge of the different service needs of asylum seekers, a lack of interpreting services, and ineffective multiagency working.

Friday 6 June 2014

Writing identities: Zena Agha at TEDxWarwick 2014

We are honoured to post another Warwick Salon TedxTalk by the brilliant Zena Agha, daughter of fellow Home Away From Home contributor Jeena, in which Zena deftly explores the themes of poetry, immigration and identity. To read Zena's bio, please click here.

Thursday 5 June 2014

Often Overlooked!

Thank you David  for raising awareness about a group of people who usually go unnoticed but whose needs are the most representative of us all. The project discussed by David shows the importance of being able to pause for a second and listen to the voices of disabled asylum seekers.   

Who are they? They are the people like you and me. However, besides being migrants, asylum seekers or refuges, they have another challenge - their disabilities!

What is the situation today? Is it different from the conclusion of a well-documented research by Robert and Harris (2002)? They wrote, "Disabled people in refugee and asylum-seeking communities frequently experienced great hardship. Considerable confusion about the responsibilities of different agencies and NASS,  a lack of co-ordinated information and service provision, and gaps in professional knowledge on disability-related entitlements increased the difficulties experienced by disabled people in refugee and asylum-seeking communities."