Across the “pond” in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, there’s a non-profit organization tackling a social justice issue most of us would never even stop to consider: Destitute Asylum Seekers. Founded in response to a “destitute and desperate” Iranian man who sewed shut his eyes, ears, and mouth when he was refused asylum by the British government, the Action Foundation provides aid to the estimated 300 destitute refugees within its community alone. Although many of these refugees come from countries where they were forced to endure serious human rights abuses, many have been denied asylum by the British government but not deported. Unable to work and with no place to go, many of these refugees are forced into the streets to live where turn to desperate measures such as the “underground” world where they are exploited or death.
In response to this need, the Action Foundation provides short-term housing to destitute refugees and partners with local organizations to secure them more permanent housing. Medical care and emergency cash are also provided at this time to assist the refugees’ physical and mental needs. In addition to housing refugees, the Action Foundation provides free, daily language workshops that assist refugees by tackling the “social exclusion” problem refugees are faced with. By equipping refugees with the ability to obtain a mastership of the English language, the Action Foundation also aids refugees by helping them prepare for a productive and smooth transition into the British workplace if and when asylum is finally granted to them.
Although we are not located in the UK (and we know most of our readers are not located in the UK either), we can still support the Action Foundation as it continues to work with destitue asylum seekers in Newcastle upon Tyne. We encourage you to visit the Action Foundation website for more information, and to share it with any friends or family you might have in the UK. Asylum seekers might not be the first group of people we think of when we think about social justice, but they are definitely some of the people who need it the most.