1.1 Home Based Educare

The Home Based Educare project was established to promote two broad objectives:

* To assist vulnerable refugee women with an opportunity to earn an income.  

* To provide affordable day care and stimulation to preschool aged children (both refugee and South African)to promote  protection from physical danger for those parents who are unable to afford suitable day care.

The intention of this project is to provide selected refugee women, who might struggle to find work in the open labor market, an avenue of opportunity to start up their own home based business while also providing an affordable day care service and protection to preschool aged minors. Home Based Educarers are provided with intensive training and subsequently a package of resources such as hygiene products, educational toys and materials to commence running the center from their homes. Through this program, previously vulnerable women are able to earn an income while also providing a safe and affordable service that provides safe care and education for children who would otherwise be left in dangerous and unsuitable circumstances .


1.2 Vocational Training 

South Africa’s growing economy continues to require more skilled laborers in particular fields including: Civil Construction, Bricklaying, Plumbing, Plastering, Pipe Laying and Welding. These fields provide opportunities for refugees to find employment.

Refugee Social Services has teamed up with an accredited training provider, Training Force, which offers specialized training in these fields. This partnership is critically important as it continues to successfully create employment opportunities and economic independence for refugee clients who complete the training. 

The aim of the vocational training program is to ensure that refugee clients are able to access the same job opportunities that are available to South Africans. It additionally aims at increasing the level of employment amongst the refugee community by transferring the skills possessed by the clients back into their communities.


1.3 Language Training

Learning to Speak English is a specifically designed course for women who need to learn English.

The aim of the Learning to Speak English course is to:

* Provide Refugee Social Services clients with Basic English that will assist in their integration and ability to become self sufficient.

* Focus on practical language situations that they face on a daily basis like trying to obtain affidavits, school application forms, everyday objects, etc.

* Focus on English communication (speaking rather than writing) and to encourage the confidence to use English.

* Prepare Refugee Social Services clients for inclusion in skills training programs.


1.4 Interpreter’s Project

The Interpreters’ Program is one way of bridging the divide that is created by the language differences which are often a barrier to proficient services. Individual clients with good English and profieciency in refugee languages are identified from the case loads of the social workers and then asked to attend an orientation to refine their skills as translators. These individuals then serve the organization and other service providers by assisting during client interviews with staff members. This is a valuable approach to providing both a small income for those in the refugee community who possess good language skills and to ensure that refugees are not denied access to services because of communication differences. To ensure the privacy of each client who is assisted by this program each interpreter follows a strict Code of Ethics and a Term of Reference.


1.5 French Classes

Newly arrived refugee children in secondary school are invited to take advantage of the French classes offered through our organization. These classes cater to the language requirements for passing Matric. Classes are held at Bechet Secondary School on Barnes Road on a daily basis after formal school hours. Contact the school for relevant times.


1.6 English Support Workshops for Secondary School Learners

Refugee Social Services’ Language Support Programme aims to assist refugee learners by bridging the academic gap created by language differences between learner and educator.

Support is offered by means of individual attention, whereby, focus is placed on tools, rules and systems necessary to achieve passing grades in English which is required to proceed to higher grades.

English workshops are held at Bechet School in Sydenham. Please contact the school or this office for details regarding the dates of the next workshop.


1.7 Peer Educator Program

Refugee Social Services runs an HIV and Aids peer education program among the refugee communities of the Durban Central area. A total of 19 individuals have been selected by Refugee Social Services and have been trained as  as Peer Educators. These individuals were selected for their reliability, knowledge of HIV, access to the refugee community and an ability to work in an educational setting with other adults. The purpose of the program is aimed at providing refugees with the basic information about HIV and AIDS, its transmission etc. as well as to encourage  persons to know their status. The peer educators provide information on where to access services for HIV and ensure that condoms are readily available.

HIV and AIDS peer educators run sessions in refugee languages and earn a small income for providing this very valuable service to the community.


Additional Projects Include:

* Sewing Project

* Gardening Project

* Paradise Project


Toolkit: Unity in Diversity R160


This toolkit examines the responsibility we have to make this world a better place. The guide is a starting point and will draw your attention to important topics, which affect us all.

We live in a world of many cultures, religions, race, language, abilities and disabilities. These differences should not divide us. By appreciating each human being for who they are, we will learn to respect and celebrate our differences.

Changing the world starts with YOU. We can all begin by treating people in the same way that we would like to be treated. Use this guide in your schools, in your homes, with your friends, or at work to bring about positive change.