film production + social action

Mapendo International is now RefugePoint

By @ChristieM

Mapendo International has today announced that it is changing its name to RefugePoint in order to better reflect its core mission of protecting the world’s most vulnerable and forgotten refugees.

If you saw our film The Last Survivor, then you are probably familiar with Mapendo International. Mapendo was also founded by Sasha Chanoff, who helped resettle Justin Semahoro in St. Louis in the film (see video below). Now called RefugePoint, their rescue resettlement efforts, health clinic, and advocacy campaigns will continue to address the needs of the most vulnerable refugees in Africa, ensuring that forgotten victims of persecution, massacre and atrocities are brought from danger to safety.

According to Sasha Chanoff, RefugePoint’s executive director, many refugees have related to their staff that contact with his organization became the turning point in their lives. “Our effort,” he says, “is to provide lasting solutions for people fleeing from persecution, war, and genocide. The new name, RefugePoint, reflects the moment when those most at risk see the possibility of deliverance from lives of fear and desperation and a path opening up toward new lives for themselves and their families.”

Many of the world’s 10.4 million refugees exist in life-threatening situations. While some languish in overcrowded refugee camps, an increasing number flee to urban slum areas where they struggle to survive without even the barest of safety nets. In Africa they come from the Congo, Darfur, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, Southern Sudan, Zimbabwe, and other countries and regions. The international community can barely shelter and feed the majority, much less tend to the unique needs of those who are truly forsaken and forgotten. “RefugePoint’s entire effort,” Chanoff says, “is to reach and succor these people whose struggle to survive would otherwise go unaddressed.

In the past six years RefugePoint has provided life-saving interventions and helped to create lasting solutions for over 20,000 refugees in Africa. RefugePoint staff have worked in Botswana, Burundi, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. RefugePoint works with national governments, the UN Refugee Agency and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to enhance and improve systems to address the needs of vulnerable refugees in Africa and worldwide.

Visit their new site at