Leveraging the capacities of refugees to support their communities and address their own needs, the Community Engagement program continues to facilitate a wide variety of refugee-led community empowerment activities.
Community Engagement Projects
CAPACITY BUILDING ON-DEMAND
AAT has been providing community members with the ability to engage in mutually beneficial teaching and learning relationships with their communities for several years. Based on a set training curriculum, seven complementing sessions impart technical knowledge on particular core mentoring skills needed to excel in the role as focal points, (co-)facilitators and trainers within their communities. Since 2021, two cohorts have passed through community mentorship projects and a total of 25 refugee mentors from various communities , including China, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, and Zimbabwe benefited from this capacity building program. Based on this experience, AAT continues to provide these training sessions targeted to the communities’ needs.
PSYCHOLOGICAL FIRST AID (PFA)
Our Psychological First Aid (PFA) project aims to provide inclusive and practical guidance to refugees and asylum seekers. With a wide range of activities addressing stress management, recognizing and regulating (negative) emotions, and sharing helpful information to access psychosocial support, we aim to sustainably strengthen a community-based social support system – respecting each persons’ dignity, cultural background and individual abilities. Within the project, community members apply to become trained focal points for their respective community. Being active in seven communities in Bangkok, nine PFA focal points have been facilitating group sessions on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) as well as over 200 individual counseling sessions.
REFUGEE LEADERSHIP AND REFUGEE-LED NETWORK
The Refugee-Led Network (RLN) is an initiative that empowers refugees in shaping solutions to the challenges they face – using the means of capacity building and political advocacy. The concept is inspired by the Global Refugee Forum and pursues the legitimate claim for refugee leadership and representation. Contributing their skills and first hand experience, refugees and asylum seekers are able to bring solutions that are based on the genuine interests of their communities. Thus, they must be empowered to play a major role themselves in sustainably responding to forced displacement. By supporting the set up of an effective RLN in Bangkok, we intend to create an inclusive environment in which refugees and asylum seekers feel valued to generate ideas and take action.
REFUGEE EMPOWERMENT GROUP (REG)
REG aims to improve refugees’ access to livelihood opportunities and to promote peer support among the communities. Building on existing skills – such as traditional cooking and handicrafts – we empower refugees in their pursuit of small business activities to mitigate the social and economic uncertainty many refugees and asylum seekers are facing.
Click Aroi (‘aroi’ means ‘delicious’ in Thai) enhances refugees’ skills in traditional cooking, provides training on business skills and entrepreneurship, and creates channels for them to tell their stories through food. In bringing home-cooked dishes to the public, Click Aroi is a platform which enables refugee families to share their cultures and cuisines while creating unique positive experiences based on diversity and equity.
Established in 2018, we are currently collaborating with two local organizations, Na Projects and theCOMMONS Thonglor: Jointly, we provide professional guidance, business training and development opportunities, and a strong network that fosters sustainable livelihoods. Besides a monthly refugee dinner at theCOMMONS Thonglor, Click Aroi is running a regular food catering platform that allows for regular orders. Please visit our social media for more information.
Over the years, Click Aroi members have been continuously empowered to become self-reliant chefs representing eight different backgrounds – ranging from Palestine, Somalia and Ethiopia to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.
The CHAMALiiN handicraft project offers women from refugee communities in Bangkok the opportunity to become economically empowered through arts that showcase their cultural identities. Female participants from Vietnam, Pakistan and Sri Lanka create patterns based on traditional Hmong and Henna designs. These are incorporated into various items, such as tote bags, pouches, table sets and postcards. AAT supports the empowerment of these women by providing training opportunities on product development, business and marketing skills and by promoting selling opportunities – online (through Lazada, Facebook and Instagram) as well as on markets and other sales events.
Stay informed with press releases, announcements, refugee stories and news
- Research Report “Healthcare Access and Services for Urban Refugee Communities During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Community Findings”Asylum Access Thailand is excited to share the results of our refugee-led research study on how refugees in Bangkok access healthcare leading up to and during the pandemic. The results show that, while each of the seven participating communities experience the pandemic differently, every community now faces additional barriers to care than before the pandemic. It is vital that refugees …
- The comic book “The Three Friends against COVID-19”The comic book, The Three Friends against COVID-19 is available now for every urban refugee community in 14 languages – English, Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, Dari, Ede, Hmong, Jarai, Khmer, Somali, Tamil, Vietnamese, Urdu. The COVID-19 has been affecting everyone, especially the children. During this time, many children still cannot access basic covid-19 resources to prevent themselves from the virus because …
- 3rd ATD MOU anniversary in ThailandToday, January 21, 2022, is the third year since ATD MOU was established in Thailand on January 21, 2019.ATD MOU is a significant and positive step to preserve the rights of the child and their family members. Nonetheless, room for improvement still remains in its implementation.Asylum Access Thailand and the coalition hope the ATD MOU will be a sustainable solution, …
- AAT Policy Advocacy Blog#4 Story of PariThe DCA group provides me with great knowledge and training to become a human rights advocate for my community. Pari, DCA Group Member The Policy Advocacy team of Asylum Access Thailand interviewed Pari, a 17-year old Pakistani refugee who now lives in Bangkok, Thailand. In this new policy advocacy blog, she shared her journey to Thailand from the country of …
- Overcome COVID-19 togetherIn the midst-year of 2021, the COVID-19 situation in Thailand was at its peak and heavily impacted people’s everyday lives. Rashi, her daughters, and their community members were bound to stay at home with the limited choices of relaxing activities, and their mental well-being was filled with fear, loneliness, and anxiety. The video will show the challenges they face and …
- Language Justice for Refugee CommunitiesHello Friend, My name is Maya*, and I want to share with you about how the program that I coordinate helps refugee communities advocate for their rights. The refugee communities in Thailand come from all over the world and speak many different languages. My program trains bilingual members of our communities to become interpreters and paralegals so that our communities …
- COVID-19 E-bookDue to the COVID-19 disruption in Thailand, many refugees have limited access to valid information regarding measurement and appropriate protection from the virus. Asylum Access Thailand urged to distribute necessary information for the refugees to ensure their wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Asylum Access Thailand compiled a wide range of information from researches, academic reports, and sources to this E-book. …
- How Thai Civil Society Organizations Are Working Together to Advance Refugee RightsHow do you advance refugee rights in a country that does not yet recognize refugees? Naiyana Thanawattho, Executive Director of Asylum Access Thailand, Emily Arnold-Fernández, President and CEO of Asylum Access, and Waritsara Rungthong of the Peace Way Foundation have provided key insight into this conundrum in an article featured in the latest issue of Forced Migration Review by drawing …
- AAT Policy Advocacy Blog#3 หลักการห้ามผลักดันกลับ หรือ Non-Refoulement ผูกพันประเทศไทยอย่างไรหลักการห้ามผลักดันกลับ หรือ Non-Refoulement ผูกพันประเทศไทยอย่างไร Written by Kornkanok Wathanabhoom, Policy Advocacy and Communications Coordinator