Grant #353

Keeping Asylum Seekers Healthy and Safe

July 1, 2019

Have You Heard? A Bar Of Soap And A Toothbrush Are Too Much To Expect If You’re In US Custody For Weeks

Were you appalled to see a representative of the United States government arguing that asylum-seekers and other refugees don’t need toothbrushes and soap? If so, you’ll love Circle of Health International, this women-led Awesome grantee. (If not, bye Felicia.) COHI shows up with essential hygiene supplies, backpacks, and volunteers who speak the language and understand the cultural challenges faced by the women and children who have crossed the border. We believe in “nothing about us without us” so we love that COHI always works with local partners to accomplish their goals. In San Antonio, their partner is a respite center which offers expert healthcare services and other humanitarian aid to the asylum seekers.

You can imagine the abuse some of the migrants have suffered on the journey, as well as in the US detention centers, and we’ve seen testimony arguing their basic human needs should not be met. Our Awesome Without Borders grant will cover the cost of accommodating one weeklong visit from the volunteer healthcare workers. That means an average of 100 people will be treated each day. The goal is to do ten medical visits a year (so if you want to help with the other nine, click here) and that would mean 7000 patients treated by volunteers. Compared to the vast numbers of people needing such services and supplies, this might not seem like a big number, but imagine what it means to each one of those people, getting some relief and compassion. And every one of them deserves at least the basics of staying clean. Really, America? No toothbrushes? Not Awesome. Especially not Awesome Without Borders!

Follow along with COHI’s work on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Category: Activism, Babies, Children, Health, Refugees, Volunteer, Wellness, Women



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders