Changing the world one photo at a time, photography for progressive organizations.

HIAS Ecuador

HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, is the international migration agency of the American Jewish community. It  provides rescue and refuge for persecuted and oppressed Jews around the world. In recent years, as the population of Jewish refugees has diminished, HIAS has directed its expertise to assist refugees and immigrants of all backgrounds. HIAS provides protection and assistance to some of the most endangered populations around the world. Depending on location, these services can include trauma counseling, art therapy, legal advice, and humanitarian assistance. HIAS  assists refugees from more than 20 countries with U.S. resettlement, immigrant integration, and citizenship programs, working closely with the U.S. government, the government of Israel and other countries, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and a host of non-governmental organizations. In November and December 2010 I visited the HIAS offices in Quito and Ibarra, Ecuador where my long time partner was a volunteer. These photos show some of HIAS work there.

The childrens corner is a place for supervised play for kids whose caregivers are being serviced by HIAS

HIAS provides counselling, education, child care and various group activities for adults and children.

HIAS works with the UNHCR and UNICEF to provide food and shelter to Colombian refugees who are fleeing government persecution, the FARC and paramilitary groups

food for the family

Basic content of a food ration

Cooking oil to be distributed with food rations

HIAS provides bedding for clients as well as food

food and bedding ready for family

Food for clients

Mommy's helper

leaving HIAS with food

Loading the car

HIAS services refugees in their initial stages after they leave Colombia. We had the opportunity to meet some of HIAS clients and see the housing available to them.

Sleeping child

Doing the family laundry

Refugee housing

More refugee housing

A Doocesan shelter provides temporary housing until permanent housing can be found

The shelter kitchen

One client helps support the family by making masks and other artwork

Housing in one location was substandard and HIAS has discontinued placing refugees at that site. On the day we visited the UNHCR was investigating and inspecting the complex

A family of eight lived in a room just like this one

Six families had to share this bathroom

Laundry drying over debris

The outside

UNHCR was inspecting the site as we were visitings

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