Rush hour on Von Wiellig Street in Johannesburg, South Africa.

According to UNHCR, more than half of all refugees now live in urban areas. Through its Urban Self-Reliance Program, CWS works one-on-one with urban refugees to develop individualized livelihoods and employment strategies and to improve knowledge of local workplace culture and labor markets. CWS also assists local citizens to improve job search and business management skills and encourages social cohesion through employment training workshops that involve both refugee and host community participants.

Through intensive case management and employer outreach, CWS assisted nearly 80 urban refugees in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Johannesburg, South Africa, during the past year. In South Africa, where refugees have the right to employment, 64 percent of participants gained employment during their five-month service period, a significant accomplishment in a context where unemployment is over 30 percent.

In Tanzania, participants focused on self-employment, with 34 refugees developing business plans for new or expanded business activities. CWS has begun linking refugee entrepreneurs with Tanzanian microfinance institutions and community banks to improve access to working capital in support of business expansion.


in Tanzania & South Africa benefitted
directly from the program, with an estimated


benefitting indirectly.