REFUGE NETWORK UK
Supporting Communities | Empowering Individuals
We are a community interest nonprofit working to support those worst affected by poverty in the UK and across Africa.
NUMBER OF PEOPLE PLUNGED INTO POVERTY IN THE UK BY THE PANDEMIC
NUMBER OF HOMELESS PEOPLE IN ENGLAND
PEOPLE IN DEEP POVERTY IN ThE UK
PEOPLE STRUGGLING TO EAT IN THE UK
REFUGE NETWORK UK
Making A Difference, Changing Lives, One Person At A Time
Refuge Network UK is the community interest arm of our work in the UK. It is a registered not for profit organisation set up as a community interest initiative (CIC). It does not earn any profit for its owners and exists solely to benefit the disadvantaged and marginalised community of impoverished, homeless, and destitute people we serve. All financial donations received would go 100% towards meeting the goals of the organisation.
The objective of the non-profit is to benefit the community by working towards the reduction, alleviation, and eradication of poverty through:
• Provision of support (such as counselling, food, and relief materials) to the homeless and destitute.
• Sensitisation Programmes to promote the health and wellbeing of individuals living in poor and deprived communities.
• Consultation and advisory services on matters relating to poverty and socioeconomic rights
• Creation of skills acquisition and business development programmes to empower economically disadvantaged people.
•Facilitation of the sale of fair trade products from poor African producers to Western markets.
•Generation of revenue through social enterprise to help the poor and support our good causes.
• Provision of educational opportunities to disadvantaged individuals and groups with a view to boosting literacy levels and enhancing life prospects.
• Promotion of socio-economic rights related projects, programmes, and activities in different ways using various media and supporting victims (individuals/communities) of socioeconomic rights deprivations.
A very important update on our work
This should NOT be happening
We found these children (some with their parents) trying to survive on the streets in Europe
No one should be reduced to living like this! Our Outreach Team found this group living rough on the streets of London.
Heartbreaking: we found this homeless man in this shocking condition, lying down less than 500 metres from the home of the Prime Minister of a major European nation during this pandemic!
This is another haunting image that we captured on one of the busiest shopping streets in Athens. This man begs to survive while his legs are rotting away with diabetic sores.
In Italy, this homeless friend literally begged us to give him the RNI cap I was wearing, to shield him from the scorching sun. We also noticed he had no shoes. Sadly, he left with just the hat, without the footwear.
Refuge Network International continues a journey we began in 2014 to achieve our mission of alleviating, reducing and working towards the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty in the communities where we operate. The current pandemic has exacerbated the misery of the global poor. It has also exposed the fragility of the social protection systems in many communities. Millions of disadvantaged poor people and marginalised homeless people are facing a difficult and uncertain future. As a humanitarian organisation, we are receiving unprecedented requests for assistance. We can see the suffering and can feel the urgency.
We realise we should be doing more to help out within the communities where we operate. This has led us to restructure our work and reconstitute the leadership to make us better able to address the new challenges. Registering an arm of our work in the UK as a community interest non-profit, was the next step in our vision to expand services, be more efficient, and ensure excellence in service delivery.
Undoubtedly, the most pressing challenge before us is the harsh socio-economic condition created by the current pandemic. The World Bank is warning of an 'unprecedented increase' in the levels of poverty this year, with the number of those living in extreme poverty expected to rise to a staggering 750 million people. Many people have lost their jobs, and thousands are on the verge of losing their homes. The crisis has had a devastating impact on the communities where we work both at home and abroad. According to research by UNICEF and Save the Children, since the pandemic, there has been a 15% spike in the global child poverty rate, with 1.2 billion children now living in multidimensional poverty. Another report suggests that the Covid-19 situation has plunged about 700,000 people into poverty in the UK.
Bread lines are increasing, food banks are experiencing unprecedented surges in demand. We are seeing more suffering on our streets. In February, we were all shocked by the haunting pictures of hundreds of homeless people queuing in the bitterly cold snow for a free meal at a soup kitchen in Scotland! Two weeks ago, one visitor to our soup kitchen told me he was finding it difficult to remain on his feet due to hunger. It was heartbreaking seeing him sitting dejectedly by the streets complaining he had no strength to move on. Last Saturday, on my way to the service point to commence the distribution of free food, another one cried out that he was starving!
We are being inundated with calls for support from various places including, North, East and West Africa. Here in England, many homeless people currently being accommodated in temporary hotel facilities are still depending on street kitchens like ours for food! According to research by the Museum of Homelessness, there has been a steep rise in the number of homeless deaths with almost 1000 dying across the UK in 2020. This represents an increase of more than a third in one year, and suicide accounted for 15%.
This ugly state of affairs is disturbing. These are living, breathing, human beings. No one should be going to bed on an empty stomach; nobody should be forced to live on the streets like wild animals. We are not going to sit back simply hoping the problem would go away. We are prepared to share the little we have and stretch it as far as it can go.
However, no single organisation possesses the capacity to meet the overwhelming needs. This is why for the first time in over 7 years of operation, during which we have funded this organisation with our own financial resources (with one or two donations from family members) we will be starting a proper fundraising campaign to cover emerging needs. Our first FUNCTIONAL donations button will also be incorporated into the website in May 2021 to flag off the online fundraising drive.
Fundamental rights to food, clean water, housing, health, and an adequate standard of living are all guaranteed in international law. Going forward, we intend to ramp up our activities so as to make these rights a reality in the lives of the thousands of homeless people on the streets and the many destitute who need support.
Consequently, Refuge Network is initiating the process of establishing food kitchens in underserved homeless hotspots in London. Our long term goal is to roll these out across the UK and internationally in the locations where we work. We need all the help we can get to make this happen.
As teammates and partners, you are invited to join us on this journey. You can support us in 3 ways:
Give your time: commit to a few hours of volunteering service with us monthly.
Give your talent: use what you are good at (preparing food, photography, social media promotion, recruiting volunteers, research, writing, etc) to help us.
Give your treasure: donate to Refuge Network or help with fundraising activities.
All financial donations raised will go towards realising our objectives. To ensure accountability and maintain our integrity, we have adopted a limited by guarantee legal structure that includes an asset lock. An asset lock is included to ensure that the assets of our non-profit (including 100% of all financial donations received) are used solely for the benefit of the community we serve. It prevents any private individual or entity from using the organisation's assets to enrich themselves. In the unlikely event of folding up, our assets will not be transferred to individuals but would go to another charitable organisation with similar asset lock provisions so it can continue benefitting the community. Our structure also prevents us from having shares or claiming dividends.
Refuge Network is a volunteer-led organisation. We are proud of our dedicated volunteers who have given so much to get us to where we are now. Together, we have distributed thousands of items and have supported many communities grappling with serious poverty-related problems. We are continually exploring possibilities of improving our services, increasing our impact, and helping more people. Having a strong and competent leadership team is imperative to fulfilling these goals. This is why I am excited to inform you that we have expanded our leadership by reconstituting it to include more experts and stakeholders (please have a look at the new leadership profile on the About us Page of our website). This strategic step would significantly increase the quality of our work and guarantee excellence in service delivery. With your support and that of other stakeholders, I am confident that our non-profit is better equipped and more prepared to address the emerging challenges of a (post)pandemic world. Let's make this happen!
Get in touch and let us know what you think. We value your partnership and commitment.
We met these Europe-bound Black African migrants living in hellish conditions in this Moroccan slum, they are fleeing poverty and challenges in Africa. These youths will not be dying in the Mediterranean if we are all doing more to fight poverty in Africa. They need empowerment, not handouts. Support us to help them.
Oyo State, Nigeria
Grateful for the financial help you gave me and my children.
CHILD REFUGEE Athens, Greece
Thank you for helping us
Homeless man London, UK
Thank you for feeding and supporting us during this pandemic, many homeless people are happy because of your help.
Elderly Man Dakar, senegal
Grateful for the gift.
Launch a Soup Kitchen in Your Locality
Get in touch! We can support you to launch a Refuge Network Soup Kitchen near you!
Want To Help The Homeless In Your Area?
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help! We have answered the questions of how you can help with two simple words, Giving and Going. You can give to any of our projects or volunteer to go work on a project with RNI.
Refuge Network UK, is registered as a Community Interest Company Limited by Guarantee.Reg no: 13279937 (England and Wales).