Offering hope for the future

How the Protection Response for Vulnerable Populations project offered frontline workers more hope for the future.

“I feel alive thanks to the project... they listened to me. Just knowing that I have someone to talk to makes a difference. Times are rough, but I have a more positive view of the future,” says Sara, a project participant.

For Sara, a migrant in Ecuador in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis—or really for anyone in the world right now—a positive view of the future is an incredible impact. That’s the power of listening to people, improving services to get them what they need, and being creative in how we get work done.

Focusing on making sure frontline staff had the support they needed to do their jobs well was a huge part of the success. Those teams make all the difference in the lives of people they work with. Speaking about working with HIV patients, a partner said that the staff allow the people they serve to, “bring out all their survival strength, so they can overcome their crisis in a foreign country. The humanitarian team gives them strength to fight for their life and health.”

From 2019-2020, CARE partnered with Dialogo Diverso and Alas de Colibri Fundation (ACF) to implement the Protection Response for Vulnerable Populations. With $1.98 million in funding from the US State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, the project reached 24,955 people (14,524 of them women) directly.

What changed?

  • People have hope. As Sara said, “I have a more positive view of the future.” Sara is not alone. Luis says, “They helped me raise my self-esteem.”
  • Participants are satisfied. 97% of people in the program were satisfied with the services they got. 97% said cash transfers helped them, and 96% of people thought hygiene kits helped.
  • People are healthier. 73% of people say that the services they got helped them improve their health.
  • Services cost less. Because of the projects’ referral system to get people straight to the health care they needed, it cost about $21 per person served—less than half of what it would cost if people went to get care without referrals. Without the project, health services cost $50-$80 per visit).
  • Service providers feel more capable. 95% of service providers said the trainings were useful. 81% of them said they learned new skills to help make sure migrants could overcome challenges they were facing.

How did it happen?

  • Offer services when people need them most. The project tripled the number of services it was providing when need went up, and ultimately reached more than twice the people they originally planned. 14,416 people got legal and mental health services alone.
  • Support the frontline workers who provide services. The project trained health providers in their duty to provide care to ALL people, as well as in ways to support migrants specifically. The team also worked with service providers to provide more, and higher quality services—like offering GBV services at a shelter, instead of focusing on just shelter.
  • Focus on safe spaces. The teams invested in door locks, printers, beds, and washers for shelters so migrants could have somewhere safe to be. 1,345 people got access to these shelters.
  • Adapt to COVID. When COVID-19 happened, the project shifted to cash support for rent instead of just short-term shelters for migrants because the shelters were no longer safe. Of the $129 in cash people got, 86% went to rent, food, and medicine.
  • Get creative with messaging. Nearly 2.2 million people got social media messages about their rights as migrants and how to claim them. The project also worked on messages to prevent xenophobia, reduce violence of all kinds, and promote tolerance. The team even worked with national and international artists to do a series of artwork on migrants’ rights.

Want to learn more?

Check out the evaluation.