The Refuge Site
A refuge site is a safe location for rescue workers to go for the various types of support that they need and a home base to operate out of for those who regularly return to the field. The Refuge Site also acts as the central location for the Project’s recovery services.
A refuge site is a place where people can feel understood and where the various types of support are available. A refuge site also provides the security of knowing that support is there if needed. People often find themselves alone when attempting to deal with the more damaging effects of recovery work and it can be extremely challenging or even impossible to find the needed help. Also, for those times when emotional responses need to be set aside to get the work done it is extremely helpful to know there is a safe place to deal with the responses once the work is done.
At a refuge site, residents will have access to either existing accommodations or the space to set up their own. Food will be provided with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Trauma psych support and training programs will be available based on current staffing.
For the initial site we are looking for both national stability and a welcoming attitude to the international community. For this reason we are looking to establish a site in Costa Rica which has long been amazing for both. We are looking for approximately 10 - 15 hectares which allows for room for all the facilities plus some extra for what we will discover we need once we are in full swing. Once we have a good working home base the second site is very probably going to be in a country bordering Syria to support the amazing people who have been helping the populations effected by that crisis for a few years now and are facing extreme burnout.
When residents arrive there will be an assessment of how best to serve their needs. New residents will work with the site coordinator and supporting staff to determine an initial idea of length of stay, dietary and housing needs and any immediate services they may require. During their stay there will be regular checking in with how they are and any developing needs. The available trauma support and training programs are open to every resident.
During the stay
How the time is spent on a refuge site will be largely up to each individual resident. There will be plenty of activities as well as training courses and local community outreach events for whomever would like to engage in them.
We will be creating a variety of spaces such as gathering areas for socializing and movies, quiet places for some peace, and what is affectionately known as "crazytown" which is a separate area with things to break, set aside for residents who need to let off some steam with some aggressive self expression. Other areas will be added as the need for them becomes apparent. There will very likely be spontaneous events and outings that are going to be resident driven as well as projects that are inspired and coordinated by residents. This is encouraged and we will facilitate them as best was we can.