Supporting the empowerment and social integration of migrant and refugee women and girls is more important than ever.
With a global pandemic in full swing and national lockdown restrictions in place, life has become challenging for most of us. The Coronavirus outbreak has also amplified the difficulties faced by migrant and refugee women and girls. It also magnifies the need for supporting the economic, social-cultural and political integration of refugee and migrant women.
This Refugee Week, we are embracing the call to imagine a better world. Through work as charity, we are invested in a world where the intrinsic dignity of every human being is valued and respected. Our work with migrant and refugee women is based on this vision.
Our local partner the Baytree Centre, a social inclusion charity for migrant and refugee women and girls, exemplify this. Since closing its doors, the staff and volunteers at the centre have been working tirelessly through the pandemic to provide support to women and girls. They have been a lifeline of support: helping women with referrals to food banks, support with universal credit applications, emergency aid, medication, home schooling and domestic violence to name a few.
As Bianca, one of the women receiving support explains: “During this time of lockdown Baytree has been a great aid to us. Thanks to them my daughter and I do not feel alone or helpless. Baytree is our family here, always thinking about us, calling us regularly, checking our wellbeing. They helped me with the food vouchers, contacting my work and my landlord and my daughter’s homework. For all of this we feel really grateful.”
The Baytree Centre has also continued delivering ESOL classes, which has been key for women with low level English to understand government guidelines, for example. Since lockdown, 103 women have accessed a daily ESOL programme. Baytree’s Into School Programme, supporting refugee and migrant girls without a place in mainstream education has also increased.
Now, more than ever, we must continue to support the integration of migrant and refugee women. By undertaking projects focused on long-term support through integration, we ensure that even in unprecedented circumstances such as the Coronavirus pandemic, we can continue to be there to support refugee and migrant women.
At WONDER we stand invested in a future where migrant and refugee women are supported and celebrated.