Case Work and Emergency Response

In the course of the community work of ASPIRE Penang, we inevitably come across a range of individuals and families facing particularly daunting circumstances.

Casework means addressing specific needs of individuals, families or communities through referral or direct assistance.


Fatimah, a mother of three young children, comes to ASPIRE Penang in tears. Her husband, working 'illegally' on construction jobs, has been detained while on a bus. Fatimah has no idea where he is and, with no money coming in, does not see how she can feed her family and keep a roof over their heads. The community workers of ASPIRE Penang alert UNHCR of this issue, so that UNHCR can take appropriate steps for his release. Meanwhile, through our mobilising of community donations, temporary emergency support can be provided to the family.


Nurul has been ill for the last few weeks. He has a high fever and backaches. He believes it might be dengue fever, but does not have the resources to go to the government hospital where he will be charged foreigner rates. These rates are far beyond what he can afford. ASPIRE Penang is able to connect him to the Medicins San Frontiers (MSF – Doctors Without Borders) clinic in Penang where he can get treatment for free.


Heavy rains periodically inundate low-lying areas of Penang.  These areas are typically where low income families live, including refugees. In November 2017, unusual rainfall flooded thousands of homes, affecting hundreds of refugee families and destroying their few possessions. Through our strong community networks, we were able to identify those that needed help (refugees were not included in government response). In partnership with Kembara Kitchen, Muslim Aid and Penang Working Group members, we were able to coordinate delivery of emergency supplies to some 500 households. 

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Flood Relief, December 2017