On Friday I attended a training session held by the Refugee Support Network. Based in London, this small charity undertakes research and direct support for students from a refugee background looking to access education. They have recently expanded their team, so are now looking to expand their work.
Action for Refugees supports the Migration Working Group North-West, led by Edge Hill academic Dr Zana Vathi. Members of AfR are affiliated to this new group, which brings together academics and activists across the region working in, or researching migration in the North-West. Affiliated members beyond Edge Hill include arts, health and housing organisations based in the region.
The Migration Working Group – North West is holding its inaugural seminar on 19th of October 2018 at 2pm. Migration Working Group-North West brings together academics, organisations and practitioners working on migration who are either based in the North West of the UK, or researching migration in this region (including Action for Refugees). For the inaugural talk, the group have invited Prof Adrian Favell (University of Leeds) to share his work on ‘From political economy to political demography: beyond methodological nationalism’.
For more information about this free event and to register please see the event page.
‘Children’s Literature About Refugees: A Catalyst in the Classroom’
DR JULIA HOPE, GOLDSMITHS COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
Monday 14th May 2018 at 1.00pm, Room E1
This seminar welcomes Julia Hope, author of, ‘Children’s Literature About Refugees: A Catalyst in the Classroom’. This book addresses one of our most pressing global issues – often called “the migrant crisis” – in a form accessible to younger children.
For child refugees to feel that their experiences are validated, and for others to understand their situation, engaging with the growing field of children’s texts on the subject is crucial. Teachers also need to be encouraged to find ways in to tackle such challenging topics, with fiction providing the perfect catalyst.
In exploring the use of Mary Hoffman’s The Colour of Home and Beverley Naidoo’s The Other Side of Truth in the classroom, this book is indispensable for educators in the younger age range, and for researchers who are interested in controversial children’s literature.
Organised by the Faculty of Education and sponsored by I4P, this event will take place in the Faculty of Education, room E1.
Mike Stoddart writes….
Action for Refugees was formed as a grouping of academics, support staff and students at Edge Hill University who felt a common need to respond to the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and abroad.
The initial spark was created by a presentation given by members of staff in the Faculty of Education on their work as volunteers in the Calais Jungle. This prompted a multi-faceted response that included fund-raising, volunteering, curriculum developments and knowledge sharing and transfer events. Perhaps most importantly, the group engaged on a number of levels with refugees, asylum seekers and organisations working to support them.
We aim to promote a multi-faceted, positive, response to the refugee crisis that results in a greater understanding of and practical support for those involved.
Our intended outcomes are to:
- Share relevant research.
- Increase knowledge and understanding of the refugee crisis.
- Provide practical support to refugees, asylum seekers and those agencies working with them.
- Ensure that all teacher-training graduates from the Faculty of Education are better able to meet the learning requirements of refugees.
- To learn from the experiences, skills and knowledge of refugees and asylum seekers.
We are very keen to ensure that the development of the group is led by the priorities of those directly involved. It is important to us that the group is open to refugees and asylum seekers as well as representatives from the wide range of organisations working to support them.
Prof John Diamond writes…
The work colleagues – staff and students – are undertaking across both the Faculty of Education and the wider University to support refugee and asylum seekers and the various NGO support groups that exist here in the North West of England are a very real and practical example of how skills, knowledge and ideas can be shared and the effect of which can be transformative.
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.