14th series of Evening Talks - RefuAid
On Thursday 11th January, as part of our 14th series of Evening Talks, Anna Jones & Tamsyn Brewster, co-founders of RefuAid, came to the bank. They shared the remarkable story of how they empower refugees in Greece and the UK to regain their lost independence. The current refugee response creates aid dependency, is expensive and unsustainable; $803 million dollars has already been injected into Greece, and yet the situation has seen no improvement. Anna and Tamsyn realised that a different approach was needed. RefuAid focuses on long-term, sustainable solutions based around four channels: housing, education, language and employment.
They shared their experiences from Lesbos, an island at the heart of the current refugee crisis. At the moment, any new arrivals to Greek shores are kept in refugee camps which greatly hinder their chance of regaining independence and stability. Shockingly, one third of all refugees had skilled employment in their home countries, but 82% of refugees remain unemployed in Europe. RefuAid offers language classes and interest-free equal-access loans which give skilled refugees the chance to take re-qualification exams. This enables them to continue their previous professions while here in Europe, when this would otherwise be unobtainable for financial reasons. Re-qualified doctors, lawyers, auditors and neurosurgeons are just some of the refugee success stories shared. The continued work of RefuAid allows refugees to take back agency over their lives and integrate into European society.
To learn more about Anna and Tamsyn’s remarkable journey and read RefuAid’s success stories, do take the chance to visit their website: refuaid.org