Behind the scenes: Project Stand Up

It all started when a group of students at the Fugee School challenged the idea that girls should be given the same opportunities as boys. The newly formed youth-led Project Stand Up (PSU) initiative became a platform for supporting youth leadership, particularly around issues of gender equality and equal access to learning opportunities. They brainstormed…

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No more refugee and asylum seeker children left in Bangkok detention centre

HOST International, with the support of Thailand’s Department of Children and Youth, has made it possible for 27 families (51 children and 26 adults, all mothers or female caregivers and one father) to be released from immigration detention and government shelters into the Thai community. HOST International, working under the auspice of Peaceway Foundation, was…

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Using tech to improve New Zealand resettlement

HOST NZ was very pleased to be founding partner for the inaugural Techfugees NZ Hackathon which ran in Wellington on 25-26 May 2019. It was the first time tech solutions have been introduced in New Zealand to start tackling the challenges that new Kiwis experience during their resettlement in Wellington. Techfugees NZ is part of…

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World Refugee Day 2019: In faith and freedom

By: Patnarin Wongkad, Case Manager – HOST International Thailand In honour of World Refugee Day, HOST International spoke with Nay Mun, a Christian-Jarai (also known as Montagnard) refugee from Vietnam. Nay is a husband, father of five children, and currently on bail under Thai immigration’s law for his serious medical condition. When we asked Nay…

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When all else is lost, dignity remains?

By David Keegan, CEO I have come into contact with many people as a result of my work in Australia and overseas during the last 10 years who have been forcibly displaced. All have a common desire to find a new home where life can be rebuilt and where dignity can be restored. They may…

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Meet the CandleLighters: 2019

HOST International has been fortunate in sourcing three talented volunteers to continue the work in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Jakarta. Meet our new Candlelighters: Marleen, Mereani, and Matilda. Meet Marleen Marleen is based in Kuala Lumpur with local NGO, Payong that works with refugees in the areas of education, enterprise and empowerment. She will be…

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Finding treasure in dark places

By David Keegan, CEO While living and working in Nauru in 2016 I met a young Afghan man named Jafar who was one of the staff at an organisation I was working for and also a refugee. His charismatic smile and energy immediately drew my attention as it was in stark contrast to what I…

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Putting the ‘human’ back into refugee protection

By David Keegan, CEO In 2013 while leading a large community based programme for refugees and asylum seekers in Sydney, I witnessed the narrative about refugees turn from humanitarian rescue and welcome to border protection and deterrence. People seeking asylum by boat became known as illegal, rescuing people seeking asylum by sea became a fight…

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Thailand Host Team Large

Meet our Thailand team

HOST International is currently piloting a program in Thailand to support up to 30 families of refugees and asylum seekers to exit detention. We have been working with the Thai government and building partnerships with local NGOs to find alternatives to detention for families and as a result, we’ve formed a small but efficient team…

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Refugee-focused computer coding school RECODE joins HOST

RECODE, a Malaysian refugee-focused coding academy, has just joined HOST International as an education and livelihoods programme. Its co-founder Jeanne Makinadjian will also be a part of the HOST team as Program Manager and will lead the implementation of the program alongside a local Malaysian team. Jeanne, welcome to HOST. Can you tell us about…

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Meet CandleLighters volunteer Lisa

The “CandleLighters” Volunteer Program is an initiative of HOST International to provide development opportunities to staff by supporting them on volunteer assignments overseas. These opportunities are designed to enhance the capacity of overseas refugee host organisations that are closely aligned with the purpose, objectives and values of HOST International. Lisa is an employee of HOST…

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Entrepreneur Khaled Al Jouja at his nursery in Wellington, New Zealand

How microfinance can help rebuild a life in NZ

By: Rochelle Stewart-Allen, Senior Manager, New Zealand When HOST International NZ first met with Khaled Al Jouja through ChangeMakers Resettled Forum, we were immediately impressed by his determination and commitment to build a market garden business in Wellington, New Zealand. Since arriving in New Zealand from Syria with his family in 2016, Khaled has worked…

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HOST NZ’s first formal partnership - Multicultural NZ

HOST NZ turns one!

By: Rochelle Stewart-Allen, New Zealand Senior Manager As we draw to the close of January 2019, it seems the perfect time to look back over HOST International’s first year working in New Zealand. First up, we began 2018 as a completely unknown brand in New Zealand. With HOST International’s work overseas, specifically in Australia and…

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CandleLighters: a volunteer’s work through Malaysia

By: Jason Spierings, CandleLighters Volunteer It was about this time last year that my former manager contacted me about HOST International’s CandleLighters position. I had just finished my Master of Humanitarian Assistance and was keen to further develop my experience internationally. I jumped at the chance as it’s been a dream of mine to work…

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How HOST International is reducing employment barriers for former refugees in NZ

By Rochelle Stewart-Allen, New Zealand Senior Manager “It’s high time we started welcoming former refugees into our New Zealand workplaces and recognise they bring entrepreneurial skills, diverse language expertise and a global perspective to our organisations.” – Rochelle Stewart-Allen, NZ Manager, HOST International HOST International NZ is now actively working with New Zealand employers to…

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HOST employees upskill to increase knowledge in community services

By Emily Chu, Communications Manager Local and refugee HOST employees have successfully completed training to improve services in the local communities they work in. 18 graduates received their AQF CHC32015, Certificate III in Community Services after completing the requirements of the program, delivered in partnership by Australian-Pacific Training Coalition (APTC). HOST saw this as an…

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Teenage refugees educating on gender equality

By Callan Lawrence For millions of young refugees around the world, education is a bridge to opportunity and a more secure life. But those same young boys and girls are often prevented from attending school by more basic obligations, including caring for younger siblings, cooking, cleaning and other household chores. This is especially common for…

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Training gender equality champions

By Fatimah and Sabri We experienced many challenges and lessons throughout Project Stand Up and it continued as we started training PSU Champions. The goal of the training was to get PSU Champions confident about sharing ideas, challenging common misconceptions and inspiring them to make positive changes in the community. It would also build their…

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Towards Self Reliance: A model for assessing and responding to sustained vulnerability

Social workers need more guidance on how to best bring people through prolonged displacement and uncertainty towards a positive future. Image: Fancycrave on Unsplash. By David Keegan, CEO Becoming forcibly displaced throws a person into many challenging situations as they journey towards a better life. They invariably find themselves facing multiple barriers that include physical,…

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The role of innovation in refugee solutions

The 7th Annual Asia Pacific Consultation of Refugee Rights Representatives from Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan. Image: APRRN. By David Keegan, CEO We are in a time where governments and NGOs are asking, and being asked, questions about how we can do things differently to meet the protection needs of the world’s…

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How our resettled communities can help fill NZ’s skill shortages

Resettled New Zealanders are often qualified, multilingual and bring diverse experience and thinking. By Rochelle Stewart-Allen, HOST Senior Manager New Zealand In New Zealand, there is a global talent pool that has entrepreneurial skills, is multilingual, and offers diverse thinking at a time when New Zealand is consistently praising the benefits of bringing new voices…

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Squeezing the juice out of our brains – applying human-centered design

Students at the Human Centered Design with Tandemic. By Abeera Abdullah, student and Project Stand Up participant Ms Abeera Abdullah is a student at Fugee School and a member of the Project Stand Up youth team. She has been living in Malaysia since 2016. During her time in Malaysia she has been involved in many…

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New Zealand’s untapped talent pool

By Rochelle Stewart-Allen, HOST Senior Manager New Zealand In New Zealand, we have a long list of skill shortages that need to be filled to ensure we’re meeting the needs of our growing population. We need more farmers (beef and dairy), arborists and market gardeners. We need construction managers, university lecturers, mechanical engineers, midwifes and…

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First nation voices integral in refugee settlement issues

By David Keegan, CEO I recently participated in a multicultural conference in New Zealand where a significant Maori leader, Dr Kara Puketapu, was invited to speak about multiculturalism. He spoke about offering compassion and friendship for visitors to his lands as an obligation and extended a commitment to working with the government and multicultural communities…

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Towards a new way of investing in refugees

By Matilda Herben, Team Leader Nauru “You take what’s thrown at you, and you make a life out of it.” This is a quote from Rula Ghani, First Lady of Afghanistan, who spoke at the Devex Conference in Washington, US, that I attended in June. I have worked for HOST for just over 12 months,…

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HOST International welcomes Philippe Legrain to NZ

By Rochelle Stewart-Allen, HOST Senior Manager New Zealand HOST International is delighted to be welcoming British economist Philippe Legrain to New Zealand in August 2018. This is a unique opportunity to hear a critically acclaimed thinker and writer present his research on the economic value of welcoming and employing refugees.   Philippe’s research shows that…

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Celebrating World Refugee Day 2018 in Wellington, NZ

By Rochelle Stewart-Allen “It doesn’t matter how you see me, I am a part of you,” were the poignant words that Abann Yor greeted the Wellington crowd with at the World Refugee Day Celebration in Wellington, New Zealand, last week. Abann, General Manager of the Auckland Resettled Community Coalition, explained the difference between the refugee…

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Stand #withrefugees by focusing on their strengths

By David Keegan, HOST CEO There’s a growing body of research and analyses, bolstered by personal stories, that shows refugees and former refugees enliven economies and cultures. Yet, despite the evidence, perceptions of refugees as a burden persist. Ethical, humanitarian and moral considerations aside for a second, refugees offer a society human capital. Research shows,…

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Unlocking Refugee Talent in New Zealand

By Rochelle Stewart-Allen Arriving as a refugee in a new country means it’s time to build a new life. This can look markedly different than the lifestyle a refugee may previously have lived in their home country, but what remains constant is that person’s set of professional skills, qualifications and experience. Although skills and experience…

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The economic benefits of welcoming refugees

By Rochelle Stewart-Allen, HOST Senior Manager New Zealand With the largest refugee crisis since World War II currently underway, British economist Philippe Legrain says developed countries have not only a humanitarian and legal obligation to welcome refugees, but it’s important to recognise that investing in refugees can yield significant economic returns. As co-founder of the…

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Meet CandleLighters volunteer Zoe Stewart

The “CandleLighters” Volunteer Program is an initiative of HOST International to provide​​ development opportunities to staff by supporting them on volunteer assignments overseas. These opportunities are designed to enhance the capacity of overseas refugee host organisations that are closely aligned with the purpose, objectives and values of HOST International. Zoe, 31, is a few days…

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Meet CandleLighters volunteer Jason Speirings

The “CandleLighters” Volunteer Program is an initiative of HOST International to provide development opportunities to staff by supporting them on volunteer assignments overseas. These opportunities are designed to enhance the capacity of overseas refugee host organisations that are closely aligned with the purpose, objectives and values of HOST International. Jason, 31, is a few days…

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