Sanctuary in Wales

‘Sanctuary in Wales’ was a Big Lottery funded project coordinated by Oxfam. It brought together a partnership of organisations, including DPIA, whose aim was to help female asylum seekers and refugees access education, employment and training and to integrate successfully into their new communities.  Project staff used Oxfam’s Sustainable Livelihood approach to assess individual’s needs and to develop bespoke action plans that responded to those needs.

Support to find work placements and volunteering opportunities was provided by Business in the Community and women were able to access placements in their chosen field of work and to volunteer on a regular or ad-hoc basis, providing them with experience, knowledge and skills that enhanced their CVs and increased their future potential for employment.

The project recognised the importance of English language skills and had provision to train women to become ESOL teachers. They could then use these new skills to support and enable their peers  to improve and enhance their language skills.  The project team offered advice on accessing these and other courses with a view to improving and sustaining the livelihoods of the women who engaged with the project.

Read Oxfam’s Final Evaluation here.



“Thank you for bringing interesting events to my life here, it has added aspiration in me, and gives me hope!” (Emily: asylum seeker)

“I have just completed a five week E.S.O.L teacher training course which was run by Oxfam together with Swansea University and it has given me some confidence to be able to do something with my life instead of just sitting around and feeling useless.” (Amina: asylum seeker)

“The Sanctuary in Wales programme is a great way to integrate refugees into everyday work places.” (Nicola: Manager, Boots, Newport)

Work placements “raise awareness of cultural issues affecting people living in our country and help them gain valuable experience.” (Amy: Manager, Boots, Newport)