Refugees and Forced Displacement
The NEXUS Working Group on Refugees and Forced Displacement is designed to help explore one of the key global challenges of our time and how high impact solutions can change the lives of millions of refugees and forcibly displaced people around the globe.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi we are witnessing the largest forced displacement of our times. As of November 2017 there are 66 million forcibly displaced people globally; a 70% increase compared to 2008. On an annual average since 2008 an additional 21.5 million have been forcibly displaced due to climate change every year since 2008. With growing frequency of conflicts including in Syria, Myanmar, South Sudan, Yemen, Burundi, Ukraine, and Venezuela, just to name a few, the numbers will continue to rise significantly.
Forced displacement is key global challenge and a cross-sectoral issue weaving climate change, education, equal justice, human trafficking, modern slavery, ethical fashion, mental health and many more issues. In light of the relevance and cross-sectionality of forced displacement, the NEXUS community launched the ‘NEXUS Initiative on Refugees and Forced Displacement’ in early 2017. The Initiative grew into a Working Group in 2019, and is a space for learning and engagement covering the different layers of refugees and forced displacement and providing opportunities to take action.
The NEXUS Refugees and Forced Displacement Working Group focuses on both the people who are forcibly displaced and the communities that are receiving them. The Initiative applies an inclusive approach and covers people who are displaced in their own countries (internally displaced peoples, IDPs), asylum seekers, refugees, stateless persons, and those who are displaced by climate change and epidemics. We refer to the forcibly displaced communities across the globe as ‘people on the move.’
Our mission is to reframe the ‘refugee crisis’, raise awareness for the cross-sectionality of forced displacement and mobilize resources and individuals to invest in high impact solutions changing lives of forcibly displaced people around the globe.
Christine LeViseur Mendonça
NEXUS Refugees and Forced Displacement Working Group Co-Chair
Christine LeViseur Mendonça is the CEO and co-founder of Humans on the Move, a social impact advisory focused on connecting private, philanthropic and public sectors to rethink the response to the refugee and migration crisis. Humans on the Move is 1 of 9 firms that has been given special accreditation by the United Nations to join the Global Compact for Migration and worked on President Obama’s Call for Private Sector Engagement in 2016 as well. She has over 15 years private sector experience working for both corporations and as a consultant.
NEXUS Refugees and Forced Displacement Working Group Co-Chair
Negar Tayyar is a philanthropic advisor to ‘The Global Whole Being Fund – Caring for Humanity on the Move.’ She manages its efforts to assist ‘people on the move’ to find meaning and belonging in transit and destination countries. She manages the fund’s grants and capacity development to social entrepreneurs and efforts to create strategic alliances across the globe. Negar has experienced different shades of forced displacement and worked in international development for several governments and the United Nations on related issues for the last ten years. She is also working as a co-active coach enabling passionate and committed individuals to connect to and live out their life purpose.
The NEXUS Working Group on Refugees and Forced Displacement organized a breakout session during the NEXUS Global Summit in New York City in July 2017. We also chaired the track on forced displacement during the inaugural NEXUS Arab Future Summit in Beirut, Lebanon in October 2017. The sessions we organized included: how local organizations are meeting the needs of the forcibly displaced and how international funders are overcoming hurdles to fund them. We also has distinguished speakers covering mental health and the refugee community, infectious diseases and refugees, the role of impact investing on support refugee entrepreneurs, capacity building for local organizations, and the role of informal education in response to the needs of the communities of the forcibly displaced.
We have also traveled across the migration route from Lebanon via Greece (Athens, Lesvos, Thessaloniki) to Calais, France and Berlin, Germany visiting around forty organizations and a dozen of formal and informal refugee camps. Based on our learning and insight we are now designing sessions for the upcoming NEXUS Summits, curating delegations for conferences, as well as Salons in the United States, Europe, and MENA.
- Refugees Deeply, an independent digital media project dedicated to covering the Refugee crisis offering daily executive summaries and pressing stories, https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees
- Are You Syrious (AYS), daily news digests from the field covering refugee-related news across the migration route. http://bit.ly/2shvVnb
- Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW, a leading research centre dedicated to forced displacement publishing a great weekly news round up on forced displacement worldwide, http://www.kaldorcentre.unsw.edu.au/news/11
- Grantmakers Concerned With Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), US-based funders network, informing and mobilizing funders throughout the United States: https://www.gcir.org
- Help Refugees UK, Help is the leading UK NGO in a new movement of humanitarian aid. Acting where governmental and other non-governmental bodies are unable to, they are working to fill the huge and terrifying gaps in services for those displaced by war in Europe and beyond. https://helprefugees.org/
The NEXUS Working Group on Refugees and Forced Displacement (WGRFD) hopes to inspire, connect and unite next-gen donors, global thought leaders and social entrepreneurs.
Learn, Engage. Connect and unite next -generation donors, thought leaders, and social entrepreneurs to:
- Learn about current and upcoming refugee hotspots, critical gaps and innovations in the refugee support system.
- Explore the cross-sectionality of refugees and forced displacement through different lenses and fields of interest including: social impact investment innovations, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), inclusive economies, sustainable development, anti-human trafficking, equal justice, sports and development, and ethical fashion.
Take Action. Connect and unite nex-gen donors, thought leaders, and social entrepreneurs to:
- Enable members to consider how to best include refugees and forced displacement issues in their investments and giving.
- Equip members with a toolkit for action and facilitate collective action to address the negative impacts of forced displacement and tackle forced displacement and uplift social innovations in the emergency, humanitarian and development systems.
Our advisor team includes thought leaders in the field:
- Aryah Somers Landsberger, Director of Programs, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), USA.
- Rouba Mhaissen – Sawa for Development and Aid, Middle East & London.
- Jonny Willis, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Refugees Youth Services/ Co-founder and Operations Manager, Velos Youth, Greece/Calais.
- Emily Arnold Fernandez, founder and Executive Director, Asylum Access, Africa, Asia, Latin America.
- Lina Srivastava, Founder Creative Impact and Experience Lab (CIEL), US
- Becca Heller, Co-founder, International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP).
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