who we are
mission and vision
RRLI’s mission is to resource refugee-led organizations (RLOs) to uplift communities and combat systematic refugee exclusion within refugee response. When we center people who have been forcibly displaced, we also center innovation, solutions and movement building leading to immediate and long-term improvements in our lives.
RRLI envisions a world in which all people who have experienced forced displacement have agency over their lives and access to solutions that rebuild their lives with dignity.
Basmeh & Zeitooneh | lebanon, iraq
Basmeh & Zeitooneh (B&Z) is a refugee-led organization in Lebanon and Iraq reaching over 100,000 refugees per year with protection, livelihoods, education and peace-building programs. B&Z’s programs go well beyond immediate relief as they provide holistic services aimed at lifting up entire families.
RAIC INDONEsia | indonesia
Refugees and Asylum Seekers Information Centre (RAIC) is a refugee-led and volunteer-run organization providing a wide range of critical services to refugees in Indonesia. Annually, RAIC reaches 4,000 refugees through legal aid, healthcare and psychosocial support.
refugiados unidos | colombia
Refugiados Unidos is a Venezuelan refugee-led organization that advocates for the recognition and protection of the rights of displaced communities in Colombia. In addition to legal services, Refugiados Unidos uses a holistic approach by facilitating access to humanitarian aid, community strengthening and psychosocial services.
ST andrew's refugee services | egypt
StARS (St Andrew's Refugee Services) is a refugee-led organization providing wraparound services to 40,000 displaced people in Egypt annually with legal aid, psychosocial support, education, medical support, professional development, and community outreach. StARS is unique in providing a holistic approach to achieving the short- and long-term wellbeing of displaced populations in Egypt, regardless of their legal status, age, gender identity, or any other characteristic leading to service exclusion.
YARID | uganda
Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID) is a refugee-led organization providing critical services for thousands of refugees in Uganda. YARID supports 25,000 refugees annually with critical livelihoods, language, education and self-reliance programs that facilitate integration.
Asylum Access | Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand and USA
Asylum Access is an international NGO that advocates for the human rights of refugees around the world and acts as a convener for RRLI. In addition to its global headquarters in California, USA, Asylum Access has three locally-lead national organizations in Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand which provide legal aid, community-based support, and policy advocacy on both regional and national levels.
how we came together
In January 2020, when Lever for Change and ICONIQ Impact launched a call for proposals to create long-term change for forcibly displaced people, the idea of the Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative (RRLI) emerged. Five refugee-led organizations—Basmeh & Zeitooneh in Iraq and Lebanon, RAIC Indonesia in Indonesia, Refugiados Unidos in Colombia, St. Andrew’s Refugee Services in Egypt, and YARID in Uganda—came together with Asylum Access, a convener and advocacy partner, to develop a joint application for this funding competition.
As a Coalition, we identified the problem: proximate organizations know what needs to be done, but do not have the funding or access to scale their efforts. Together, we identified the solution: drive funding to refugee-led organizations (RLOs) all over the world and support them to absorb that capital. If RLOs have resources, their leaders would more organically be positioned to engage with the decisionmakers that set the policies and laws that dictate the ways in which refugees are treated, including what rights they have.
In May 2021, the Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative was selected as the recipient of the $10m Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award. This award is the first step in our efforts to establish the first-of-its-kind RLO-to-RLO fund, a fund for refugees by refugees. RRLI has established a funding and support model that will enable local RLOs to sustain and scale their impact within the next five years. Through this effort, we will reach over 1,000,000 people across every major refugee-hosting region globally with holistic, community-driven support and solutions.
how we work together
The Coalition is driven by the importance of transferring ownership and resources to refugee-led organizations. We envision a world where a vibrant, refugee-led civil society leads the direction of refugee response, allowing more refugees than ever to rebuild their lives.
The Coalition shares the following values, and will strive to live them out in all of our work:
Shared ownership and visibility. All Coalition members contribute to achieving our goals and participate in project governance, and we believe that should be reflected in the way we work together and communicate externally.
Open communication. We share ideas, concerns, thoughts and questions freely with each other.
Co-design. Our work is stronger when we build the strategy together. We seek to understand each others’ ideas and incorporate them into a cohesive whole.
Respect. We value the contributions of each organization and individual, and respect their expertise, time and commitment.
Transparency. We believe all Coalition members should have access to the information they need to make informed decisions, and that open information sharing makes us stronger.
Joint decision making. We believe that all members have an important voice in decisions and strive to build consensus.
the team behind RRLI
The Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative (RRLI) is made up of representatives of the coalition organizations listed above as well as a dedicated team to implement and run the initiative, including the RLO-to-RLO Fund.