ARDC is a grassroots, volunteer-based organisation, with strong local community support. At any one time, up to 120 professional and trained volunteers work with five half-time staff members to deliver services to the community and advocate for their rights.
ARDC collaborates and maintains close partnerships with several community, human rights organisations, governmental and municipal bodies and schools. Our partners include Physicians for Human Rights, The Refugee Rights Clinic at Tel Aviv University, The Hotline for Migrant Workers, ASSAF and Mesila. As a founding member of the Refugee Rights Forum, ARDC actively promotes the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in Israel. ARDC has also been an Implementing Partner organisation of the UNHCR since 2008.
Our main donors include the UNHCR, the New Israel Fund, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, The Good People Fund and the Ted Arison Family Foundation. During 2009, ARDC had an income of 668,000 NIS.
The mission of ARDC is to assist, support and empower asylum seekers and refugees of African origin who are in Israel by ensuring access to basic social services, facilitating integration into Israeli society and promoting self-sufficiency and ownership in matters affecting their lives. We advocate for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and for fair and humane Israeli asylum policies.
We establish our direction with the community engaging asylum seekers and refugees in activities to ensure greater capacity, community ownership and long term sustainability. Our service recipients also play a vital role in the decision-making process through the ARDC Board of Directors and Working Group.
Initially an emergency aid organisation focusing on humanitarian relief, ARDC has expanded its work early 2009, introducing projects that facilitate integration and independence. We now provide assistance to approximately 1,500 individuals a year through our:
a) Refugee Education Center – This is currently the only learning center of its kind in Israel―delivering Hebrew and English tuition to both children and adults and assisting aspiring students to enter university and vocational training;
b) Asylum Application Assistance Project – We provide individual counselling and asylum application assistance to help our clients establish their status in Israel and remain out of detention;
c) Community Therapeutic Service – A team of professionally trained mental health clinicians, a psychotherapist, and a clinical psychologist provide one-to-one trauma counselling.
d) Humanitarian Project – We provide homeless single-mothers and pregnant women with safe and temporary shelter in Tel Aviv and prepare them for a self-sufficient, independent life.