Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel

Individual Aid

photo: Ori Bronfeld
Individual social work services

The individual psycho-social support scheme provides comprehensive support and professional advice to dozens  of applicants monthly. The scheme, which offers vital services and social case management to asylum-seekers, is operated by a social worker accompanied by volunteers from the Advocacy and Support Center and by social work students. The target of the plan is to alleviate the plight of asylum-seekers who have experienced trauma, mourning and loss, and to bolster their resilience and ability to tackle their problems.

It is noteworthy that many of the asylum-seekers who have recourse to the services, are men and women who, if they enjoyed basic rights, would have no need of such support. However, in the current situation where they lack rights and aid infrastructures, any small problem can turn into a grave social and emotional crisis and become an obstacle to everyday coping with life.

Work on this program is based on belief in the abilities of asylum-seekers who come to us, and aims at creating full partnership and to break the supporter - supported dichotomy. The approach is also influenced by cultural sensitivity, and we attempt to render services accessible and adapt them to asylum-seekers. In this area the work of volunteer translators and interpreters from the community itself is vital, since it creates a verbal and cultural bridge, and enables the asylum-seekers to express themselves in their own language. In a situation where many doors are barred to them - the ability to unburden themselves in their language is of vital significance.

In our individual  work with asylum-seekers, we are always aware of the importance of the natural mutual aid network within the community. The various communities often demonstrate to us their untiring ability to aid and support their weak members, even when they themselves are engaged in a constant struggle for survival. Individual work is not intended to replace this mutual assistance but to supplement and strengthen it.