One of the most exciting aspects of humanitarian aid work is seeing the impact of our programmes. The team at Goodwill Caravan works hard to both track and measure the impact numbers of all of our refugee protection projects, and we have a customized Monitoring & Evaluation system in place to assist with this process.  Every 3 to 6 months we compile and assess these figures, giving us chance to have up-to-date insight into the impact our programmes have on the lives of beneficiaries. Seeing these sucess measures always gives a boost to the GWC team, and we’d like to share some of these recently compiled figures with you in this week’s blog post.

 Over the past summer GWC’s Legal Office has been hard at work providing essential legal services to the vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers in Greece.  This Office is staffed by asylum lawyers, social workers, interpreters, registration officers and receptionists, and focuses on assisting forcibly displaced migrants throughout their journey from registration as asylum seekers until they are fully integrated in Greece and have the legal right to work as persons granted full protection status. Here’s a look at what the typical legal process at GWC’s Legal Office look like:

A key focus of the Legal Office’s work has been Asylum and Family Reunification cases, and we’d like to share some of the impact measures of their work on these cases over the past summer. From June to August, GWC’s Legal Office served 124 displaced refugees and refugee families. The vast majority of the cases we work on are for refugee families, and, on the average, each GWC legal case consists of 4 family members in total. In taking this into account, the Legal Office assisted an estimated 496 total beneficiaries on their Asylum and Family Reunification cases this past summer. The chart below gives a breakdown of the beneficiaries by country of origin. This summer, we saw a similar demographic composition as in past periods, with a slight uptick in beneficiaries from DR Congo.

In terms of the nature of services offered, GWC continues to provide a full range of legal services for Family Reunifications under the Dublin Regulation and Asylum Application Support, with the latter category divided into Legal Consultation, Asylum Registration, Interview Preparation and Procedural/Administrative Case Support. The chart below shows a breakdown of the various legal services offered this past summer.

The forced migrants we work with in Greece have had to flee from the threat of conflict and persecution, suffering untold loses and trauma. Many of them have additional vulnerabilities that only exacerbate their plight. Last summer, close to 20% of the Legal Office’s beneficiaries had such vulnerabilities. The accompanying chart shows a breakdown of these vulnerabilities by criteria.

These vulnerability figures also highlight some of the principal ways the services of GWC’s Legal Office work symbiotically with the services of our other core Action Triangle Medical and Shelter projects. For example, the figures above reflect how, on the average, over 30% of our Proof of Vulnerability Asylum Cases have medical-related vulnerabilities. In these asylum cases, our lawyers cannot proceed without medical documents to prove a refugee’s vulnerability. However, accessing the Greek healthcare system can be incredibly challenging for refugees, and this is where our Medical Office comes in to help facilitate this access and allow these cases to move forward. Similarly, nearly all the beneficiaries of our Shelter Project receive some form of legal assistance, whether for something simple such as obtaining IDs to more complex Asylum and Family Reunification cases. Last summer, close to 50 beneficiaries from our Shelter Project – the majority of whom were single mothers and their children – received such legal support.

These success measures from our Legal Office’s work on Asylum and Family Reunification cases this past summer represent just one element of GWC’s larger refugee projection projects – all of them made possible through the generous support of donors and partner organisations.