Relieving problems people face

How we help

We provide & support a range of initiatives.

HAPANI facilitates numerous awareness, educational and support projects that aim to relieve the problems faced by people from the Horn of Africa and beyond who are living in Northern Ireland.

Education

Accredited English Classes

We can provide service users with free access to accredited English classes at institutions such as the Belfast Metropolitan College, as well as 6-12 week literacy and numeracy courses. This enables individuals to develop conversational and social skills that help them build their confidence and interact more easily within the community.

Access To Further Education And Training

By collaborating with non-governmental organisations such as Include Youth and Business in the Community, HAPANI offer pathways into further education, employment and/or training. We also advocate for the waiving of fees for refugees who might otherwise be unable to pursue further education due to financial hardship.

Meeting Room Facilities For Minority Groups

Our headquarters in Belfast is open to small ethnic minority groups or similar charitable organisations for recreational, communal, educational or meeting room purposes. This service is free of charge and offers groups the opportunity to meet, expand and contribute to the wider community. The Nigerian Community Northern Ireland (NICONI), Association Darfur of NI, The African, Caribbean Chamber of Commerce Northern Ireland (ACCCNI) and CRAICNI are among some of the organisations who have previously used our facilities for board meetings and training.

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Support

Access To Public Services

HAPANI uses a broad knowledge base along with open communication with public bodies to respond to the needs of refugees, asylum seekers and other HoA individuals. Accessing primary or secondary healthcare, for instance, is not an option for destitute asylum seekers elsewhere in the UK, and we have helped individuals access these vital services. By focusing on each person’s individual circumstances, we advocate for appropriate housing, medical care and social services, and continually strive to nurture a culture of equality.

Advocacy

Advocating the social, economic and political rights of refugees in NI is at the heart of HAPANI’s ethos of equality. Our team deal with cases related to housing rights, educational access and hate crimes, as well as being represented at the Migrant Forum and Racial Equality Boards.

Women’s Project

Our successfully established Women’s Project is dedicated to assisting women from HoA and beyond with a range of practical services that support both their education and overall well-being. This drop-in service is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, offering literacy, writing and translation classes as well as general support and advice.

Destitution Project

Many asylum seekers in Northern Ireland are refused residency by the court and ordered to return to their country of origin. HAPANI’s Destitution Project guides individuals towards legal representatives who can appeal their cases. We have a comprehensive understanding of the typically long and difficult process of seeking asylum and strive to support people physically and emotionally throughout this transitional phase. In all instances, HAPANI advocates the basic human rights of individuals who are living in destitution in NI, in addition to helping source accommodation and social security in the narrow 28 day window after refugee status has been granted.

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Awareness

Collaboration With The PSNI And NIHE

We believe that every person from the HoA or any other part of the world has the right to reside in a community where they are safe from prejudice. Unfortunately, hate crimes and intimidation do occur in NI, and HAPANI works with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to assist in the reporting and prosecution of perpetrators.

Challenging Intolerance

The HAPANI team are consistently active in challenging intolerance and stereotypes towards HoA individuals, refugees and asylum seekers. We aim to support campaigns and projects that challenge racism and promote ethnic harmony within NI communities.

Basic English Lessons

Good communication is key to building relationships, relieving conflict and increasing awareness. Our dedicated volunteers offer basic English skills to ensure that African refugees can engage and communicate with their ‘host’ community. We can also connect individuals to initiatives such as the Belfast Friendship Group, which is a great way to build social contacts and gather a support network.

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Youth Projects

Homework Club

Our Homework Club currently provides space for 79 children to access their own individual desk area, a computer suite and the guidance of qualified volunteers. Operating Monday and Thursday from 4.30pm to 7.00pm, projects such as the Homework Club are an important part of social integration and educational development for refugee children. This support goes hand in hand with HAPANI’s continued advocacy for equal access to education.

Children’s English Classes

Children from HoA and beyond can develop their literacy and numeracy skills through paid or unpaid classes. With the aim of promoting social inclusion and ensuring that all children have access to basic education, our partnerships with external providers such as Belfast Metropolitan College enable young individuals to integrate more easily within the community, increase their confidence, and build a foundation for further education and training.

Sporting Activities

Physical activity is a great way for young people to improve fitness, form friendships and develop their social skills. HAPANI has partnered with Suffolk Swifts Football Club in Belfast to provide children aged 12-16 with the opportunity to train and play for the club on a regular basis. We have also organised basketball games between girls from the local area and those who have arrived in NI as refugees, ensuring that gender is no barrier to sporting opportunities in our continued efforts towards equality.

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Partnerships

HAPANI’s partnerships with local organisations are a key factor in ensuring that refugees from HoA and beyond have access to relevant support and public services. These collaborations also serve to relieve poverty, promote equal rights and encourage racial and religious harmony within the community. Successful partnerships with organisations such as Belfast Unemployment Resource Centre, Suffolk Swifts Football Club, Queen’s University and Belfast Student’s Union have been paramount in allowing us to provide individuals and families with much needed care and support.

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International Projects

HAPANI’s long-term goals extend beyond regional projects and advocating the social, political and economic rights of HoA refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in NI. We also hope to establish positive links with the Horn of Africa countries and develop a number of international projects.

Somalia School Building Project

Several members of our team are currently involved in the planning stages of building a school in Somalia, which will be our biggest project to date. Through fund-raising, team effort and effective management, this realistic goal will make a huge difference to the lives of Somalian families.

Building Hospitals And Educational Facilities

HAPANI want to build, improve and reconstruct hospitals in remote regions of Somalia that may not otherwise have access to healthcare. Our long-term goal is to support the development of health and educational infrastructure in the region of Africa, including the provision of ambulances, veterinary services, technical and vocational institutes. We are actively raising funds and forming beneficial relationships with relevant bodies in order to advance these goals, and will support any HoA individuals here in NI who want to return to the region as volunteers.

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