1.THE ASSISTED VOLUNTARY PROGRAMME/CHOICES (UK)
The Assisted Voluntary Programme (AVR) more commonly referred to as Choices, offers persons who are in the United Kingdom as undocumented residents to return voluntarily to their country of origin and thereby avoid deportation. Its objective is to enable clients to become reintegrated into society and we facilitate their ability to do so through activities to build new lives, through advice, information and encouragement to become involved in various types of community development activities. We also provide them with opportunities to discover and enhance their skills for self-development.
We support Choices:
- Client focus: We put the interests of our clients above all other considerations
- Equal Opportunity: All clients receive the same, high quality service, irrespective of ethnicity, faith, gender or any other defining characteristics
- Confidentiality: We treat all client information confidentially and ask permission if we need to pass any of it on to another individual or organisation
- Impartiality: We give independent and unbiased information and advice. We make no attempt to influence the actions of clients and support individuals to make their own decisions and choices
- Empowerment: The best outcomes for our clients come about when they are empowered to make decisions and take action for themselves. Our ability to assist is time-limited and therefore client independence is promoted at all times
- Partnership: We work with honesty and transparency with partner organisations to achieve our aims.
- Innovation: We will continue to find ways to improve reintegration opportunities
Through our partnership with Choices, we adjusted our modus operandi to broaden the base of our clientele and to move away from our traditional welfare orientation. We are now mainly concerned with helping our clients to become self-sufficient in all aspects of their lives.
We are making available practical and short-term training in various skill and knowledge areas with life skills as the starting point of all of our development activities. Furthermore, our aim is to facilitate the transformation of our clients into successful entrepreneurs who, within a one-year period, can independently operate income-generating ventures that provide adequate resources to support their families and themselves. Additionally, it is anticipated that these ventures will employ at least one other member of our client’s community at least a part-time basis.
Our reintegration service activities include some or all of the following, depending on the individual situation:
- Education and vocational skills training
- Assistance in gaining employment or establishing self-employment
- Assistance with business development and referral to micro-finance programmes
- Social reintegration
- Support for medical care
2. HIBISCUS INITIATIVES "Promoting access to social and criminal justice solutions."
Hibiscus Initiatives, formerly FPWP/Hibiscus was set up in 1986 by Olga Heaven MBE, to empower and champion the rights of Black, minority ethnic and refugee migrant women serving a custodial sentence, released into the community or returned to their home country, most notably to Jamaica.
In 2004, the organisation became a registered charity. Traditionally, the organisation worked with women but in the summer of 2012, commenced a pilot project with men at the two Heathrow immigration removal centres, Colnbrook and Harmondsworth.
Today its work is varied and includes welfare, advice, advocacy, volunteering and befriending in prisons; assistance and support on voluntary returns and reintegration in home countries to people in immigration removal centres; assistance with community resettlement and reintegration in the UK for ex-offenders and others at risk of offending and more recently, campaigns in source countries to raise awareness about the risk of being trafficked to the UK
Hibiscus Jamaica Limited supports the Hibiscus Initiatuves through:
- Support that helps reduce the isolation and hardship experienced by clients upon their return to Jamaica and in their resettlement.
- Facilitation of education and training for clients.
- Referrals to professionals who can help minimise the damaging effects of depression and mental illness caused by incarceration.
- Local efforts to educate statutory, voluntary agencies, and the general public about our clients and reduce prejudice against them.