Demonstration in support of Eastern Ghouta Liverpool city centre, Sunday 25 February 2018

The Syrian community in Liverpool organised, at very short notice, a moving demonstration in support of their compatriots and, in some cases, former neighbours caught up in the siege of Eastern Ghouta. This was in response to the escalation of the attacks by Syrian government forces and Russian warplanes on Sunday 19 February. Hundreds of people including women and children were killed in the space of a few days.

I spoke to people at the gathering who were waiting for news of loved-ones and others who had already been told the worst about family and friends. The dignity of all present was very striking. It was also interesting to note that there was no collection of money at the event. The main aims were to raise awareness of the situation and seek support for the victims.

The day before the demonstration, the UN passed a resolution (with the support of Russia) for a 30 day ceasefire. However, on the day of the demonstration government forces were still attacking Eastern Ghouta. The situation remains desperate with an estimated 1,500 people killed since February. It is estimated that the conflict in Syria has killed more than 350,000 people and displaced more than 11 million others. A very small but important number of these are now settled in our region.

Mike Stoddart

If you are interested in supporting the refugees based in our area, please see our volunteering page for more information.

From our inbox (March 28th)

More events, calls for papers, new research and other information related to work with refugees that we think should be shared.

Documentary about seeking asylum in the UK and the detention process.

Qualitative Research Symposium ‘Understanding Migration’ is to be held on the 12th April at UEA, designed to be as accessible and interactive as possible for interdisciplinary staff and PGR students working in migration research. For more information see their website.

British Academy funded research into urban refugees’ experiences in the Global South reports in their new blog.

Learning resources designed to facilitate an exploration of LGBT and migrant lives and, more generally, an engagement with issues of equality and diversity, are now available to download from ‘Intimate Migrations’:

For any enquiries about these resources please email Francesca Stella.

 

If you have any events or information you would like to see here, please email a4r@edgehill.ac.uk

Put away your British accents: Farsi Taster session @FoE

Twenty students and staff from the Faculty of Education volunteered for a Farsi taster session this week. Our teachers were two refugee volunteers from Iran, supported by West Lancs CVS. As new learners we were told to ‘Put away your British accents’. Working in small groups, the trainees and staff enjoyed the opportunity to hear about living in Iran first hand, from cuisine to education options.

In the session students discovered borrowed words from French, different ways of speaking about gender, discovered ‘Finglish’ (Farsi in roman script) and even tried their hand at writing their names in Persian.

Learning some language basics including greetings, introductions and numbers may seem a small thing, but even this kind of simple preparation can make a world of difference in welcoming new students to the classroom, as well as fulfilling one requirement of the Teaching Standards  (to meet the needs of EAL students).

Farsi may be new to many of the group, but it is spoken by over 100 million people in Iran and beyond. According to Home Office statistics, refugees from Iran are currently the largest group applying for asylum in the UK (2016 figures).

Faculty staff are working to ensure that in addition to support for EAL delivery, students leave EHU with an understanding of the needs of refugee students.

Action for Refugees is keen to develop this opportunity for more trainees, and plan to hold a session to put together classroom resources in a range of languages to support EAL next month.

For more information about these sessions contact Action for Refugees.

For more information on some of the myths around refugees in the UK: British Red Cross

To volunteer to support refugees in the area, check out our volunteering page.

From our inbox (March 15th)

There’s a lot of events, calls for papers, new research and other information related to work with refugees that we think needs to be shared as widely as possible.

At Edge Hill, a new Migration Working Group has been set up, led  by Dr Zana Vathi.

Gramnet (the network for community members and scholars working in the field of migration and refugee studies at Glasgow University) is currently promoting their film series. Maybe this kind of film event is something we should look at hosting in EHU?

Natakallam is a new online social venture, aiming to link refugees with communities globally through language teaching. You can make a connection with a refugee in camps in Syria, and hear about the refugee crisis first hand.

Care4Calais’ latest news reports the French government’s provision of food for refugees (and the problems with it).

Action for Refugees is very interested in how refugees access university – we’re keen to find out more about that experience. We’re not the only ones: a new researcher in access to HE is looking for refugee participants to talk about their experiences of accessing university. STAR, the university based student network for refugees are currently advertising for an Access to University coordinator.

For those looking for support now, the Refugee Support Network can offer advice to young people (18-25) looking to apply to university, by phone and email. Closer to home, find out about applying for EHU’s Sanctuary Scholarship scheme here.

 

5-a-side @EHU

The lads enjoyed a good five-a-side evening at Edge Hill last Monday.

Teams are made up of local refugees and EHU staff and students. This is a fortnightly session, 5-6pm organised by Dr Jack Sugden, Lecturer in Sports Business & Management in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Sport & Physical Activity as part of the Action for Refugees Group.

For more info or to play contact Jack Sugden.

Action for Refugees: News and views

We’ve started this blog to act as a port of information for what has rapidly become a rather large group of staff and students committed to ‘Action for Refugees’.

Check out the ‘about’ page to find out how ‘Action for Refugees’ began, look at the ‘volunteering’ page to see current opportunities to get involved in the local community, and we will be posting news about the group’s meeting and planned activities here on the blog pages.

If you can’t find the information you need, please get in touch with us at A4R@edgehill.ac.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.