While we are free to express how we feel and what we believe, others are not so lucky. All around the world, people are persecuted for standing up for their rights and beliefs. We are here to help them at their time of greatest need.
We provide financial and practical support to prisoners of conscience and human rights defenders through our Package of Support to help them rebuild their lives in dignity and continue standing up for what they believe in.
PoC provides rapid financial assistance by way of grants to ensure immediate relief, resettlement and requalification at the time of greatest need. While grant-making to relieve the immediate hardship and family reunion needs remains central, we are seeking to use the information we hold and our network of contacts to work with beneficiaries so they can recover from their experiences and can achieve economic independence in their new environment.
Moving towards more holistic assistance has led us to develop an employability panel, a web-based forum, signposting to other organisations and NGOS who can provide practical support and identifying volunteering opportunities at PoC and elsewhere. This support has benefits to individual beneficiaries and has a wider public benefit, because it helps prisoners of conscience deliver on their goals of being independent and productive members of the society in which they are now living.
“The PoC grant made a huge difference in my life. It was a stepping stone for me to pursue my dreams…It’s not only about pursuing your dreams, but the ability to be able to engage in life-long ambitions also has healing effects from the trauma that I have experienced before that, so that was one of the things that I value the most; it created a sense of self-worth, a sense of being in a safe space where I can exercise my rights as a dignified human being, so that was one of the things that empowered me the most”
-Hyab, researcher and activist in Eritrea