Protection and Self-Reliance
Enabling dignity in urban displacement
Refugee Protection International is helping Ukrainian civilians escape the war’s frontlines in southeastern Zaporizhzhia province and between Mykolaiv and Kherson for temporary refuge in western Ukraine and abroad. RPI procures and delivers vehicles to assist its Ukrainian charity partners to launch or expand efforts. Evacuations are critical. RPI has seen firsthand the devastating medical consequences for children unable to flee villages under fire or newly occupied territory since February 24, 2022. Challenges include war-damaged vehicles, Russian military checkpoints, active hostilities, lack of diesel, and fear. Since early March 2022, RPI has also supported 4 group evacuations of surrogate babies from Kyiv to their foreign biological parents in an initiative coordinated with local medical partners.
RPI is deeply concerned for the emotional well-being of Ukraine’s children. RPI has visited pediatric inpatients being treated for PTSD, panic disorders, and general anxiety due to the war. Some had sheltered underground as their evacuation train was shelled, killing its conductor. Others heard relentless explosions and shelling in the devastated cities of southeastern Ukraine. Add to this the stress of displacement, continued air raid sirens, and frequent separation from family members, and the situation is dire. RPI will support Ukrainian charities and hospitals to deliver psychosocial and psychiatric support to children and youth.
Since late 2015, RPI has also helped to address the protection crises experienced by Syrian civilians. Inside Syria, children have experienced relentless exposure to aerial bombardment and shelling and loss of loved ones. In neighboring countries, Syrian refugees have fled to urban centers or informal settlements to earn a livelihood. Yet, too often they lack the civil documentation, skills training, and support needed to access decent work, housing, and public services, leaving children at risk of child labor, early marriage, and mental health issues.
In sum, RPI and its grassroots partners have met 23,656 protection and self-reliance needs by:
- Launching and supporting civilian evacuations from areas of active hostility in Ukraine
- Delivering food aid and relief items to displaced orphans, children with disabilities, IDP hostels, frontline villages, and border reception areas in Ukraine
- Counseling and financially aiding Syrian refugees in Lebanon to complete birth registration to facilitate access to schools and advanced health care
- Providing displaced Syrian children with psychosocial support and individual mental health sessions or referrals to psychologists in Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria
- Supporting the income-generation capacity of female-headed refugee households and victims of violence
- Providing transitional housing, protection, and other social support to vulnerable refugee women and children
- Providing psychosocial support to refugee women and civilians affected by the Beirut explosion in August 2020
- Providing Syrian refugees in Turkey with guidance on documentation procedures and referrals to service providers to legitimize and support their stay
- Providing individual case management: interpretation/translation, accompaniment to service providers, and support with completing application forms
- Encouraging collaboration among our local partners and other nonprofit, private sector, and municipal stakeholders
- Planning for post-conflict information and counseling on housing, land, and property restitution and reparation
Counseling and Case Management
6,785 Syrians in Turkey received consultations on how to access documentation (temporary protection; work permits through employers) and job-seeking, medical, legal, relief, and educational services. 220 Syrian refugees in Lebanon were supported with birth registration.
Supporting Mental Health
Over 1,021 refugees, IDPs, and locals have participated in psychosocial support or individual mental health programming in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.
Strengthening Livelihoods that Give Back
8,949 displaced Syrians in Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria received goods or services as a result of vocational/livelihoods skills training, materials, and distribution support provided to 434 refugees and IDPs in teaching, first aid, nursing, psychosocial support, soap/toy/packaging production, sewing, and the use of eco-friendly heating/cooking fuel. In addition, 3,050 refugees received intensive language training in host countries and 647 children in Syria received winter clothing.