The Refugee Children’s Project (RCP) is a charity organisation that was founded by a group of refugees in 2002. The organisation was originally formed to facilitate the integration of refugee children and unaccompanied minors into South African society. The initial area of intervention was the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. Currently, the organisation’s scope of work and interventions has expanded to include projects in other African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa.
As an advocacy and relief organisation with more than nine years of experience in working with refugee women and children by supporting, protecting and promoting their social justice, human rights and their access to basic resources and services. Its specific focus on children and their primary caregivers distinguishes RCP from other organisations advocating on behalf of refugees and migrants. RCP is independent of government and international institutions, and offers an unbiased and impartial voice in advocating for its beneficiaries’ human rights, dignity and access to resources and services.
RCP’s services are provided to all vulnerable refugee and migrant women and children irrespective of ethnicity, sexual orientation, and physical ability. RCP recognizes that discrimination is in itself a form of abuse. By providing such support, the staff, volunteers and board of directors of Refugee Children’s Project seek to maintain a professional working relationship based on honesty, trust, respect, understanding and accountability.
Since its inception in 2002, RCP has delivered its mission with measurable success, assisting over 3,500 children of 10 different nationalities. Through networking with other local, regional and international organisations dealing with refugees, RCP aims to provide direct and indirect services that facilitate the integration of refugee women and children into the host community. As well as providing various types of direct support to refugee women and children through its Women’s Intervention Program and Community Integration Project, RCP is currently implementing a variety of advocacy Programs through its Child Refugee and Migrant Policy (CRMP) initiative – including knowledge-promotion, awareness-raising and child-participation projects.
RCP collaborates not only in the refugee and migrant sector, recognising the importance of the services delivered by other institutions to alleviate the plight of refugee women and children. The organisation’s current challenge is to mainstream refugee women’s and children’s issues into South Africa’s national human-rights agenda. Using funding earmarked for this purpose, RCP is integrating this priority into its current activities through its CRMP initiative.
Based on the underlying principle of a human rights culture, RCP projects place specific emphasis on access to basic resources and services, employing an integrated service-delivery approach to alleviate the multiple problems faced by refugee women and children. In addition, RCP endeavours to ensure that the rights of refugee women and children of every category are realised in accordance with the relevant domestic, regional and international standards.
Since 2006, the scope of RCP intervention has expanded to include programs that target refugee women as children’s primary caregivers. In addition, RCP’s areas of intervention have expanded to include projects in three additional provinces, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. Since 2008, the organisation’s scope of work and interventions has expanded to include projects in other African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa.
 The RCP definition of refugee women and children includes those who are refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), undocumented migrants, or returnees.