What happened this year at MOAS?

2021 is coming to an end and it is time to reflect on MOAS’ operations and projects around the world. This has been a challenging, but productive and successful year. Our operations have reached some of the most vulnerable communities around the world this year and we plan to continue along this trajectory into 2022! Below you’ll find an overview of each project we ran this year and what its impacts and outcomes have been. 

Flood and Water Safety  

We’ve supported local partners in providing unique and innovative Flood and Water Safety training since early 2019. MOAS’ team provides their expertise to local partners in training and providing equipment to both volunteer responders from the refugee communities and volunteers from the local host community. This training creates resilience against water related risks but also supports self-development, not only by providing volunteers will skills and equipment but also by improving leadership and teamwork. These programs also provide livelihoods to local tailors who make our safety equipment and receive up-skilling as part of the project. This year, through our incredible global partners MOAS has facilitated and supported the training of over 1,158 refugees and 356 host community representatives with each person trained receiving a MOAS designed and locally made throwbag 

Fire Safety  

At the start of 2021 an increase in the frequency and severity of outbreaks of fire in crowded refugee camps led our team to support the development of one-of-a-kind Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) project for Fire Safety and Response. The project focuses on 3 elements; risk mapping, training in first response and the prototyping and manufacture of firefighting equipment.  

The risk mapping model allows our technical experts to advise camp management and other stakeholders on areas of particular risk and develop response strategies according to each context, while the training also provides first response skills and strategy implementation techniques to community based volunteers. Finally, the team has prototyped several camp-context specific pieces of equipment, including fire-fighting tuktuks and backpacks, and are producing and procuring/distributing across several projects. With support from USAID, GIZ and WFP our team has helped producing 40 tuktuk firefighting units and procuring & distributing 200 fire safety backpacks. It also helped training on their use. 

This fire safety programming is due to continue beyond 2021 and well into the 2022 period with more exciting developments to come. 

Yemen and Somalia 

Since early 2019 MOAS has been providing pharmaceutical care and specialist malnutrition treatment to vulnerable children in Yemen and Somalia. In these countries, crippled by political crisis exacerbated by COVID and environmental pressures, food insecurity is at an all-time high with famine, drought and malnutrition putting millions of lives at risk. This year was no different and, with the ongoing support of partners Edesia, ADRA and IMC, we managed to successfully distribute over 130 tons of medicine and ready to use therapeutic foods to children on the brink of starvation.  

2021 also saw us establish a brand new partnership with Action For Humanity, alongside whom we will be delivering nutritional aid to hospitals in the Raqqa region for communities currently unserved by such services who are in desperate need. 

With your help we will continue to get this life-saving aid to those who need it most.  

Malta 

In Malta, MOAS is committed to supporting the migrant and refugee communities present on the island by providing assistance for challenges they might face in their daily life, whether big or small. In doing so we run several different projects that range from education initiatives to sport and English language classes.  

One of the major projects on the island is the provision of Information and Learning Centres in the refugee camps of Hal Far. This project sees MOAS establishing multifunctional learning spaces at the Open Centres: our hope is for these learning centers to be equipped with educational resources such as computers, books and other learning tools and be used by the center’s residents for formal education, training activities such as language classes, quiet study, and essential tasks such as CV writing, job hunting and registering for online services.

A Remote Learning Initiative is also in progress, this is a project though which MOAS provides tablets and modems for internet connection to migrant families to help children and full-time adult learners keep up with their studies. In 2021, MOAS has managed a portfolio of these remote learning packs and we hope to donate more in the upcoming year.  

The first participant for the MOAS’ Family Hosting Project, where migrants are connected to families residing in Malta who wish to support them, has just completed his hosted year. Through this project we aim to facilitate long-term integration and inclusion, and support the development and independence of participants. Welcoming a refugee to a family home can begin to open new dialogues, generate inclusivity and overcome prejudices.  The first participant of the 1-year Family Hosting project said in an interview: 

 ‘My life today is so different from that of a year ago. Things are going great. I get everything I need. The family is really good, they support me and help me. They are good people. They respect me and I respect them a lot.’  

This project has allowed the beneficiary to gain autonomy and he has been able to continue his education and make concrete plans for his future. Such feedback really reflects the aims of this project as the participant is able to actively contribute to society and use the skills and connections they develop through the project to facilitate their growth and self-sufficiency within a new social setting.  

For asylum seekers and migrants, being part of a shared home can be such an important step in establishing full autonomy and independence. This project was a success, it received immense support from the Maltese population and many more families contacted the organization as they wish to participate in this ‘long-term life initiative’ in 2022.  

On the island MOAS is also offering the ‘English for Beginners’ course to residents at some of the transitional housing centers on the island: this course is adapted according to the needs of the asylum seekers beneficiaries and the aim is to build confidence listening to and speaking English in informal setting. The lessons, which focus primarily on conversational English, both boost the participants capacity to integrate into the local community and better access community resources. English language acquisition can be vital for participants to access better employment and build connections in the community. Ultimately, English classes play a vital role in the holistic well-being of refugees and the societies who welcome them. 

Advocacy 

MOAS continues to advocate for the implementation of #SafeAndLegalRoutes of migration.
Throughout 2021 the MOAS team has been busy providing educational and awareness raising information to our community. The team have deconstructed the terminology around migration, explained legal definitions and explored the narratives of asylum and the obstacles these individuals face. We further analysed the main factors driving migration –namely, economic, political, social and environmental factors, so that our audience can better understand why people decide to leave their countries and risk their lives to reach safety. 

The team has additionally assessed the already existing legal systems through which migrants can seek humanitarian protection; these include humanitarian visa, resettlement schemes, family reunification and community sponsorship. 

In the last months of the year, the MOAS team focused on providing positive testimonials of how #SafeAndLegalRoutes have helped migrants and asylum seekers to integrate in their destination countries and communities, as a positive call to action. 

Looking to 2022 

MOAS is taking great strides into DRR and will continue to support UNHCR, WFP, GIZ, Helvetas and camp management infrastructures in mapping risks, providing trainings and distributing equipment to combat possible effects of flood and cyclones as well as fires in the camps and surrounding host communities. 

Our fundraising drive for the nutritional aid delivery projects is well under way as we strive to provide the same levels of support to Yemen and Somalia as we have in 2021, while also expanding the project to include the upcoming deliveries to Syria and beyond. 

In Malta, we are aiming to open the first Learning and Information center in Hangar Open Center (HOC) in February 2021, which will be quickly followed by a similar opening at Hal Far Tent Village (HTC). The remote learning project will continue to expand and MOAS will continue to provide support to asylum seekers and Beneficiaries of Protection (BoPs) in the community through hospital visitations, distributions, activities and educational opportunities etc. 

We believe our greatest achievements lie in the depth and breadth of support we have provided our beneficiaries. We continue to be dedicated to working towards a world where all people are treated with dignity and respect, through our logistical expertise we are able to both rapidly respond to emerging crises as well as provide longer-term social assistance to mitigate the suffering of people forced to risk their lives to reach safety. As we look towards 2022, we will continue to provide our logistical expertise and rapidly respond to emerging crises.