Same Skies supports refugee communities in so-called 'transit' countries, but where resettlement to third countries is becoming less and less likely. We drive leadership and innovation in refugee action to increase their agency in gaining access to information and human rights. Through training and mentoring, we strengthen communities to become self-sufficient. We focus on the resilience of refugees, building on their skills and talents, rather than seeing them as vulnerable.
Southeast Asia currently hosts over 2.7 million displaced people, and most nations are non-signatories to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. This means that refugees are not allowed to settle, they receive no assistance, they cannot work or study, and they have limited access to healthcare. Refugees are too often perceived as vulnerable and as a burden on host countries. They are not given enough decision-making rights over their lives, and their skills and ideas are often unutilised.
Same Skies trains, coaches and mentors refugee individuals and groups to strengthen their capacities, for example through management- and teacher training. We help realise refugee-led initiatives, such as Refugee Learning Center in Indonesia, in which refugee community members offer services and activities for others. We also help these groups become financially independent and sustainable.
Our pilot projects in Indonesia are now entirely managed by refugees (including fundraising). Our work helps refugees strengthen their sense of community and independence. Further, there are frequent examples of positive interactions between refugees and members of the host communities, when they are responsible for all steps of project management. Ultimately, this serves to challenge the global perception of refugees, shifting the focus of assistance and support efforts.