Scholarships – Westheimer Health

The Refugee Support Network are currently accepting applications (until 27th May) for the ‘Westheimer Scholarship’, a funding opportunity for asylum seekers (up to aged 28) to pursue HE in health and social care, medicine, nursing or related professions.

Funding is available for up to 3 people each year for fees and living costs.

Full details are available on the Refugee Support Network site.

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Student Action for Refugees – visit 22nd May

Maddy Robinson of STAR (Student Action for Refugees) will be speaking about the work of this national NGO, formed by students, which now makes up a national network. She will be discussing the diverse voluntary work carried out by students across the UK, and their influential campaign work including changing universities’ policies for HE Access.

Edge Hill was one of of the first universities to offer fee waivers for students unable to continue their studies due to their refugee status: STAR campaigns to ensure that access is supported and improved, reflecting the demands of students that their university is a place where everyone is welcome, and equality matters.

Find out how you can get involved at 1pm 22nd May E19 (FoE Lakeside)

With thanks for the support of I4P

What is STAR?

STAR is a national charity of 27,000 students welcoming refugees to the UK. Together we:

  • Volunteer at local refugee projects
  • Campaign to improve the lives of refugees
  • Educate people about refugees and asylum

STAR is made up of 46 groups at universities and colleges across the UK and a national team which co-ordinates and supports the groups. STAR groups are students’ union societies which are affiliated to the charity. The charity is governed by STAR’s Board of Trustees, elected annually by the students themselves.

Check out this video of Shrouk El Attar, Cardiff STAR and STAR trustee, to find out what STAR is all about!

Calls for Papers: Forced Migration Review and Protection of Forced Migrants, Africa

Forced Migration Review issue 62 on ‘Return’, plus mini feature on understanding and addressing root causes of displacement

Deadline for submission of articles: Monday 17 June 2019
Maximum length: 2500 words

As one of the three ‘durable solutions’, voluntary return in safety and dignity has been a core tenet of the international refugee regime since the signing of the 1951 Refugee Convention, and is also reaffirmed in the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. Debates around the subject are complex, touching on political, legal and socio-economic questions as well as the central principle of non-refoulement and the humanitarian imperative to ensure that returns are informed, safe, voluntary and dignified.
This new issue of FMR will provide a forum for practitioners, advocates, policymakers, researchers and those directly affected to look at recent developments, share experience and good practice, debate perspectives and offer recommendations.

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WoWFest19 Bluecoat, Liverpool

Two storytelling events are taking place on Thursday, 23rd May at the Bluecoat as part of WoWFest, the Liverpool Literature festival.

I want you to know: A Writing Workshop for Refugees and People from Refugee Families

This is a writing workshop for refugees to tell their stories. Many times, refugees are asked to talk about why they became refugees. We’ll be focusing on stories that you want to tell, whatever those stories might be. The workshop is open to refugees at all levels of writing experience.  It is part of Barbed Wire Fever, a creative exploration of what it means to be a refugee (funded by Arts Council England). www.barbedwirefever.com

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Brexit, EU Settlement Scheme and the forced (im)mobility of EU citizens in the UK

Guest post by Agnieszka Martynowicz and Agnieszka Radziwinowiczówna. Agnieszka M. is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Edge Hill University. Her research interests include migration(s), criminal justice and human rights, in particular in the context of imprisonment and immigration detention. Her current research focuses on deportations of Polish citizens after their contact with the criminal justice system. Agnieszka R. is a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Wolverhampton, where she is undertaking a two-year research project ‘Brexit and Deportations: Towards a Comprehensive and Transnational Understanding of a New System Targeting EU Citizens’ (BRAD).

Originally posted on the Border Criminologies blog. 

The Brexit Referendum of 23rd June 2016 became one of the most defining moments in British politics and social life in at least a generation. Achieving an overall majority of 51.9%, the supporters of the UK leaving the European Union (EU) secured a narrow victory. The UK Government started the exit process at the end of March 2017, developing a host of new policies and legislation to enable the ‘disentangling’ of UK’s current ties with the EU. This includes pursuing a goal of ending the freedom of movement (FOM) for EU citizens into the UK on (or soon after) the exit date.

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Reflecting realities, preparing new professionals

Karen Morris sharing her collection of refugee-themed picturebooks at the AfR conference, 2017

Karen Morris writes

In schools and other settings, our graduates play a significant role in the lives of pupils and encounter personal, ethical and moral dilemmas which are often unconnected with the taught curriculum. They need to be able to draw on a teaching philosophy that is distinctive and personally informed but reflects ethical values and principles. Such a philosophy needs to be responsive to the demands of a changing world where social, political, economic and environmental issues have a significant impact on the lives of children and young people. As a primary English tutor this is a key part of my role in preparing future professionals. Continue reading

Community links: supporting refugees in West Lancs

Lawrence Smye Rumsby works as a caseworker supporting refugees in Skelmersdale. Formerly a primary headteacher, he is officially ‘retired’!  Lawrence also plays a key part in ‘Skem International’, a voluntary group formed of members of the community including refugees. Action for Refugees’ links with local groups ensure we are in touch with refugees placed in our community. This is important to make sure that our work reflects their interests and needs.

Lawrence writes:

I started my caseworker contract officially on 1st August of last year, but had been volunteering in a similar role for over two years. My contract with the Council Voluntary Services (CVS) covers 4.5 hours casework with related admin, each week, but there is always more demand than this. In Skelmersdale, two regular weekly events for refugees, Wednesdays (4-6pm in the Ecumenical Centre) and on Fridays (2.30 to 4.30pm in the library) offer an opportunity for contacting me. Both buildings are very central and easily reached by all asylum seekers and refugees, which is important when most don’t have a car or the funds for public transport. Asylum seekers receive approx £35 per week from the government which has to cover everything except housing.

In the first three months I was employed, I dealt with 166 meetings, with 67 separate refugees, from Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Angola, Sudanese, Eritrean, Syria, Jamaica, Burundi, Afghanistan, Turky, Libya, Egypt, Russia & Morocco. Most of those coming to these meetings are young men, reflecting the population in Skelmersdale. I work with volunteers from the community in Skelmersdale to provide a range of support, with funding from the Red Cross to help with volunteers’ expenses. 

There are a wide range of issues raised at meetings. Refugees waiting for a decision on their leave to remain might need help with dealing with the Home Office, for example finding a solicitor, accessing benefits or responding to mail. Continue reading

Women’s Day 2019: Debate, educate and dance

Women refugees can be especially vulnerable. Marking Women’s Day, fundraising, education and dance events are taking place to support work for displaced women. 

Today, UN High Commission for Refugees are fundraising to support more projects like the ‘Women’s Committee of the Future’. Based in Turkey, where over 3 million Syrian refugees were living in 2016, the Urban Refugee Women’s Network, with UNHCR support, developed a support group for women coming together over tea. Continue reading

Manchester Event: ‘Offering linguistic hospitality’ an Arabic language workshop

Organised by the University of Glasgow and the Islamic University of Gaza (Palestine), a workshop in Manchester, 8th March 2019, 2pm – 4pm at the Friends Meeting House.

This workshop will discuss the importance of giving a space to the languages of people seeking asylum and/or people who have refugee status. Showing respect and appreciation for home languages people bring with them can facilitate integration and promote wellbeing.  During the workshop the organisers will also offer a free Arabic language taster (for beginners) as an example of a refugee language that can be learnt to offer ‘linguistic hospitality’ and to move ‘towards’ someone in their home language. We will also give information on the Online Arabic from Palestine language course that was developed collaboratively by a team based at the University of Glasgow (within the UNESCO Chair for Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts) and at the Arabic Center of the Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine.

Tea and coffee will be available. The workshop is free of charge, but places will be limited, so booking is essential. More information is available here: Workshop_Flier-Manchester

To reserve a place, please write by the 6th of March to: Nihaya.Jaber@glasgow.ac.uk.