Sasha Chanoff is the Founder and Executive Director of RefugePoint, and the co-author of the book From Crisis to Calling: Finding Your Moral Center in the Toughest Decisions, with a foreword by David Gergen. He is a recipient of the Charles Bronfman Humanitarian Prize, the Harvard Center for Public Leadership Gleitsman International Activist Award, and is a White House Champion of Change. Sasha has appeared on 60 Minutes and in other US media outlets, and has received social entrepreneur fellowships from the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Ashoka, and Echoing Green. He is a steering committee member of New England International Donors and a founding advisor to The Good Lie Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Warner Bros. film The Good Lie about the resettlement of the Sudanese Lost Boys and Girls.
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RefugePoint finds lasting solutions for the world’s most at risk refugees and supports the humanitarian community to do the same. The organization saves lives through its direct services, trains and builds capacity of partners, and convenes and influences key decision-makers to improve humanitarian response systems. Its mission centres on improving the standard of living for refugees in the countries to which they flee and increasing the availability of resettlement for refugees unable to live safely in those countries.
RefugePoint has directly helped over 54,000 refugees resettle and, through its training and capacity building work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and NGOs, has contributed to the resettlement of 1.2 million refugees since its founding. The agency has conducted resettlement work in 28 countries across Africa, and now is also in South-East Asia and the Middle East.
For the vast majority of refugees who are unable to return home or resettle, RefugePoint has devised a service model to help them improve their quality of life and gain self-reliance while stuck in indefinite exile. Its programme in Nairobi, Kenya annually serves around 10,000 urban refugees originating mainly from Congo, Darfur, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan. Its measurement tool charts clients’ progress across food, shelter, education, income, health, mental health, and safety. Using this tool, the agency is able to “graduate” roughly 25% of its caseload each year.
Based on this work, RefugePoint has built and co-leads the Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative, a global community of practice of NGOs, foundations, governments, multilateral agencies, researchers and donors. The collective goals of this initiative include developing, measuring, and promoting refugee self-reliance models intended to reach millions around the world and change the paradigm of refugee response. RefugePoint is primarily privately-funded, enabling it to respond nimbly to emerging needs, devise new approaches for others to take up, and occupy a seat at policy tables normally off limits to NGOs.