From little things, big things grow – that’s the philosophy of the Little Things project, which provides small grants of $5,000 to under-resourced, grass-roots projects that make lives better for refugees around the world.
Through this staff-led project, HOST employees nominate and then vote for projects they want to support. Here are some projects we have supported so far.
HELP for Refugees
Health, Education and Learning Program (HELP) for Refugees is a non-profit organisation based in Indonesia. They are a group of refugees who help empower fellow refugees and build resilience and hope in their community. HELP also offers education for refugee children and provides a friendly environment for adults to learn English, Bahasa, computer literacy, and other skills.
Home Kitchen is a social enterprise focused on empowering former refugees to flourish by providing work and training opportunities. They operate as a restaurant, which is only phase one of the Home Kitchen dream. Home Kitchen also runs a variety of events like cooking classes, catering and fundraisers that support refugee community initiatives here and overseas.
IDEAS Academy believes that every child deserves an education, regardless of their race, background, or immigration status. Many school-aged refugee children cannot get access to basic education but IDEAS Academy provides an alternative solution.
After two years of fundraising and donations, the school was launched and has since grown to over 100 students. The Academy is now housed in a five-story building, with multiple classrooms for up to 300 students and equipped with IT room, library, and canteen.
RAIC Indonesia, Refugee Eye Clinic
Refugees and Asylum Seekers Information Centre (RAIC) is an organisation founded and led by refugees in Jakarta to provide services to other refugees in Indonesia. They offer various support services, such as an eye clinic, self-guided psycho-social support, care packages, and legal aid.
School Box Project
A Little Things grant allowed the School Box Project to establish a trauma-informed education, art and play space for, mostly, Rohingya refugee children in Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Ukhia, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
As of January 14, 2018, this camp, including makeshift surrounding camps, had a combined population of 547,616, making it the world’;s largest refugee camp. Conditions are very difficult and the School Box Project does what it can to educate children ranging from 6-18, with the support of local teachers.
Same Skies’ Refugee Empowerment Project
Same Skies’ Refugee Empowerment Project enhances the self-determination, resilience and well-being of refugees in transit. A Little Things grant contributed to the establishment of a new refugee-led organisation in Malaysia that empowers 300 refugees to take charge of their lives, become actively involved in the community, and hopeful about the future.
The project has worked with local refugee communities to identify the education levels, professional backgrounds, daily activities and other personal information to map the communities’ strengths and
Collateral Repair Project
Amman, Jordan, is temporary home to hundreds of thousands of refugees. Collateral Repair Project supports them with emergency relief and support services.
A Little Things grant in 2017 funded the renovation of additional space for its Community Centre, as well as food vouchers for approximately 35 families.
The Community Centre is used for popular programs, including English classes and vocational skills training, such as for hairdressers and barbers. The renovation also refurbished a childcare room. A lack of childcare is a common reason for adults not being attending courses.
Asylum Access Malaysia
Refugees in Malaysia are not recognized by law and have no legal right to work. Many refugees work informally and this leaves them open to exploitation. They may not be paid fairly, or they may be coerced to work long hours and do dangerous tasks.
However, labour laws provide basic protection to all workers regardless of status. Most refugees do not know this, or are too afraid to assert their rights.
Little Things funded human resources for a pilot legal clinic through Asylum Access Malaysia that empowers refugees to protect themselves, to negotiate with employers, and where possible file court cases to get legal precedent that can lead to better protections.
The Future Is Today Foundation
The Future Is Today Foundation, formerly Everyday Hope, supports child refugees along the Rwandan and Ugandan borders. It was started by Aime Kalangwa, who was himself a child refugee in the region until the UNHCR gave him protection and he found a home in the U.S.
The organisation starts the process of registering children as refugees. In the meantime, it gives them education, medical and mental health services, independent living skills, and the tools necessary for success.
A Little Things grant allowed the foundation to finish building a school for orphans in Uganda.