Welcome to For Her Child's Spring 2021 appeal! Thank you so much for visiting our Crowdfunder.
With your donations and support, we send refugee children boxes filled with expressive play and enjoyable learning materials that they otherwise go without, to help them develop their voice and self-esteem!
Hello, my name is Ruvi. I have come a long way from arriving in the UK, to the day I sought asylum, to having my status recognised, to contributing and giving back. But before asylum was granted to me, I experienced a lot of fear, hardship, trials and tribulations. Overwhelmed with adverse circumstances, I and my unborn baby were referred to UK social services for help. Instead, my credibility and character, as a human and as a mother, were questioned. When I was very much on my knees, my son was taken away and placed in a family that had resources and social standing. My referrer never intended this outcome. My social services referrer had worked with me a long while and were sure I would flourish in motherhood.
As a mother, with undying love and devotion to my son, knowing my ability and competence in caregiving, knowing my mentality that so excels in parenting and nurturance, this was very confusing for me, and so painful for him- for us both. For a long time, I blamed myself.
But when you come away from an intensely negative situation and surround yourself with the right people, the truth of discrimination becomes much louder than when you alone were pointing it out. Now, I realise this was a structural issue that could also impact others like me.
Realising I could not stand by while this structural discrimination occurs to others...
I founded For Her Child. At For Her Child, we see the harm that discrimination and familial alienation do to asylum-seeking families, and we exist to ensure better access to justice and the protection of the right of the child and mother to experience their role in each other's life. This is a human right for all women and children, and humane in particular for refugee families who have already involuntarily lost so much. I hope you can agree it is our duty to protect this right.
Today, I contribute to UK society as a staff member in a charity and also as a statutory service local governor. I am actively building up my advocacy capacity through training, research, and now, responsibility for service provision as a social enterprise entrepreneur setting up For Her Child. Yes, we want to have relevance for mainstream settings and my greatest hope is that For Her Child can become a household name known for protecting and promoting the rights of children at every stage- not only in the not-for-profit sector, but also within the institutional bodies where we want to see meaningful change.
How does For Her Child work?
Service to refugee families:
- Provision of our bond, play and learn model through "Expression Packs"
- Building a supportive community
- Social group advocacy
Engagement with professionals:
- Introduction to basic Sanctuary Practice principles and methods
- How to work on: modelling the Sanctuary Practice approach in your service
- Ongoing co-design of the Sanctuary Practice framework, strategy and tools
- Delivery of much-needed, reliable research into the silent crisis of forcible separation of refugee mothers & children by host countries.
Expression Packs are the focus of this Crowdfunder - we want to deliver 50 Expression Packs to families in need. Stretching our ask helps us do this work and the strategic work outlined above.
We provide boxes of play and learning materials for mothers to use with their children -> they share important moments together -> mother and child have a feeling of finding sanctuary -> mother & child are empowered, the child thrives -> they are better together.
Our bond, play and learn model is simple. We know that basic play and learning development materials are used to connect a child to normal childhood experiences and support development.
We know that parents who have sought asylum are living under the Hostile Environment Policy, which restricts their right to work, access opportunities, and live in dignity- and thus are likely to be unable to provide more than food and some essentials to their family.
We ensure that children are gifted with a box full of things that help fill that gap - an Expression Pack! And when you make a donation, you are sponsoring this gift for a refugee child.
Expression Packs FAQ
What are they? Designed to meet the child’s need for play and adventure, and the right of a mother to enable her child's healthy emotional and expressive development.
Why are they valuable? They support refugee mums to bond with their children, and refugee children to use their voices and express themselves authentically. Building a child’s authentic voice helps the child build confidence, promotes healthy and happy integration in their host society.
Expression Packs promote the nurturing relationships that already exist around refugee children. They help to bolster the emotional support webs that the child already relies on, rather than looking to external parties to steward the child’s wellbeing. This is also the foundation of Sanctuary Practice, the social model we are looking to develop and have organisation pledge to: strengthen the bonds that refugee children already have, rather than put them through more undue separation, change and upheaval.
What's in a box? A combination of something musical, something with an interesting texture, age-appropriate moulding clay, art and craft materials, something that bring colour to the child's environment, something that stimulates thoughts and engages the mind, a comfort item, something for stress relief and a feature item!
We aim to distribute these quarterly - so four times in the year until we can sustainably distribute monthly!
What is the theme for the Spring 2021 Expression Pack Drive? The theme for spring is "ideas." The packs will include a book to read and a write your own storybook. Children will be able to create their own story with their mother in the language they feel most able or interested in creating through. and the book they read will support reading and imagination around forming their own imaginative story. Mum will facilitate this process and engage her child's ability for expression. And when they need to do something else they will have fun, play, colouring and craft materials to use when they wish.
WHAT WE'VE ACCOMPLISHED ALREADY
Together with our donors, we ensured that 30 asylum seeker and refugee children received an Expression Pack gift in the 2020 holiday season! Our pilot soft launch was very successful, thanks to personal and professional allies in the advocacy and refugee care sector.
The need for Expression Packs was proved because demand was far greater than supply, and children wanted to tell For Her Child how happy they were to have received their gift! And although we wanted to raise £900 we were able to raise £1300!
Best of all, donor feedback was clear: the purpose behind their donation made them feel really good, and they appreciated the opportunity to give in this highly constructive yet simple, pleasurable and kind way. Donors expressed solidarity over the need for the Sanctuary Practice strategy.
To me, Expression Packs and Sanctuary Practice work hand in hand. Proving that Expression Packs are needed and welcomed shone a brighter light on the need for a Sanctuary Practice approach to protecting children in the care of their refugee mothers.
Since then our advocacy efforts have accelerated quite considerably after groups and organisations started to see that we are filling a gap that is not presently supported.
THE SPRING APPEAL: HOW YOU CAN HELP
Expression Packs cost us £30 each. We aim to send 50 Expression Packs for our Spring Appeal!
Sponsor an Expression Pack for a refugee family today!
1. 30 GBP: Sponsor an Expression Pack for a refugee family in our community
2. 15 GBP: Co-sponsor an Expression Pack with another supporter :)
Donate to For Her Child's wider mission and Launch:
I am supported by a great team who are all very inspired to raise awareness around this silent crisis. Together we want to see a clear strategy in place setting out professional care of refugees in frontline settings. If we are able to raise this money you will have enabled us to achieve our vision.
Please consider each of our rewards levels- although nothing can ever repay you for your priceless support, we would love to offer you small tokens of appreciation!
ANY and all donations are welcome to support For Her Child. Please chip in to support our Expression Packs drive this Spring 2021!