Tag Archives: refugees

Our say: Young refugees on learning in a new country⤴

from @ Reach

Can you imagine having to leave behind your home, friends and family to go on your own to a new country? That’s what some young refugees have experienced. Read their story…

Reach spoke to 3 young people from Eritrea, Somalia and the Republic of the Congo about their experiences of arriving in a new country. Despite the hard times they have gone through, all three were really keen to learn.

Young refugees - Scottish Guardianship Service

They said that the classes at Anniesland had made a big difference in their lives – not just in helping them to learn English and adapt to life in a new country, but also giving them the chance to make new friends. “I’m happy to understand the people and to share conversations”, one young refugee told us, “We feel like a family… We trust each other. And we work very hard, we help each other.”

It’s not easy getting used to so much change though: “the thing is, our country we learn some kind of different things than is here and the questions is different, teacher is different, everything is different”, one boy said. In fact, school is so different here in Scotland that even the timetable feels like a big change – apparently in Congo and Somalia, school starts at 7.30am! One girl from Africa had good things to say about how easy it had been to approach teachers in Scotland: “there is good communication here between teacher and student: here you are free, you can talk to your teacher, you can share something with your teacher”.

Another thing that has been hard for these young refugees is waiting to find out if they are allowed to stay in Scotland: “It’s very difficult to concentrate for the learning because you just think about the answer Home Office gonna give you”, we were told. One of our interviewees explained that she has been given a lot of support by the Scottish Guardianship service, which works with young people who arrive in Scotland unaccompanied and separated from their families: “When I arrived here, and she take me to my social worker and I think she helped me, everything! She gave me support, not only for education, for all my personal things, like appointments. When I have like bad mood, I called her and she will came and take me out … we can meet new friends, new people, so we don’t feel alone. Like, I stay without family but they make me happy and forget all of things like the back history”.

Learning a whole new language with a different alphabet and different pronunciation is a big challenge too: “the difficult was the pronunciation and it’s not our first language – it was difficult when I came here”. The young refugees we interviewed were all taking ESOL classes – classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages. They explained that the ESOL classes aren’t just about learning the language, they are also learning about citizenship, democracy and what life is like in Scotland.

When asked what advice they would give to other young refugees in Scotland, the young people said that two of their top tips are to study hard and to learn English.”Don’t give up, just keep going and have a choice” one advised. “Don’t forget where you come from”, said another. And what were these young people dreaming of doing in the future? They spoke with one voice when they replied: “to go to uni and get a good job so I can help in my own country and the people who need help also”.

If you’re affected by any of the issues in this post, call the Scottish Refugee Council on 0141 248 9799

The young people wanted to take this chance to thank  the Scottish Guardianship Service, the Red Cross, the A.S.I.S.T project, and their families, who have helped them so much.

The post Our say: Young refugees on learning in a new country appeared first on Reach.

Funded International Learning Experience⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

On October, the 3rd, 2013, 368 migrants died in a dreadful shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa. It was just one of the cruelest tragedy in the long trail of death since the mass migrations from North Africa began few years ago. The UNHCR rates that more than 2600 persons have died in the Mediterranean sea from 2011 so far. The Italian Parliament has therefore established a Remembering Day every 3rd of October, to honour the people who died and raise awareness of the migration tragedy.

The “Europe begins at Lampedusa” initiative aims to involve Italian and European students in learning activities and events specifically concerning the issues of global interdependence and human rights, with a particular focus on migrations and the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.

The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education has forwarded on this invite from the Italian Ministry for a Scottish secondary school to participate in a learning experience focused on global interdependence, rights, migration, asylum seekers and refugees.

The successful school would engage pupils in preparatory learning experiences in their own school during September to prepare for a conference in Lampedusa, Italy, in October.

 The deadline for applications is Thursday 16th June.

Click here for an application pack.

 

Washed up – a poem for today⤴

from @ blethers

Washed up

The children on the beach
have no cares.
Their garments lap upon the waves
that brought them here.
They are not playing -
they are dead.
Hair like seaweed in the foam,
their small bodies come to
rest where other children play.
So small, so dead. The hot tears
flow but cannot warm
those tiny souls that drift
and sigh into my heart as I
turn away, their image
floating useless in my mind.

©C.M.M. 09/15


When people take their children into leaking rubber dinghies in the dark to cross rough seas, knowing how many die every night, there is nothing “bogus” about their desperation. - Polly Toynbee, writing in the guardian, 3 September 2015

Washed up – a poem for today⤴

from @ blethers

Washed up

The children on the beach
have no cares.
Their garments lap upon the waves
that brought them here.
They are not playing -
they are dead.
Hair like seaweed in the foam,
their small bodies come to
rest where other children play.
So small, so dead. The hot tears
flow but cannot warm
those tiny souls that drift
and sigh into my heart as I
turn away, their image
floating useless in my mind.

©C.M.M. 09/15


When people take their children into leaking rubber dinghies in the dark to cross rough seas, knowing how many die every night, there is nothing “bogus” about their desperation. - Polly Toynbee, writing in the guardian, 3 September 2015

Washed up – a poem for today⤴

from @ blethers

Washed up

The children on the beach
have no cares.
Their garments lap upon the waves
that brought them here.
They are not playing -
they are dead.
Hair like seaweed in the foam,
their small bodies come to
rest where other children play.
So small, so dead. The hot tears
flow but cannot warm
those tiny souls that drift
and sigh into my heart as I
turn away, their image
floating useless in my mind.

©C.M.M. 09/15


When people take their children into leaking rubber dinghies in the dark to cross rough seas, knowing how many die every night, there is nothing “bogus” about their desperation. - Polly Toynbee, writing in the guardian, 3 September 2015

Seminar series: Professor Peter Mayo 28/3/2014⤴

from @ Cat's eyes

We had a guest speaker at the latest in our research seminar series.  Professor Peter Mayo is Head of Education at the University of Malta and he was talking about his latest book, The Politics of Indignation. This talk was concerned with one specific chapter in the book on migration in southern Europe.  Critical pedagogy, sociology of education and social theory feature as his research interests.

It was clear from the beginning that we would be presented with a radical perspective on what is an utterly desperate situation.  Professor Mayo opened with a shocking statistic: 20 000 migrants have drowned in their attempts to cross the Mediterranean from Africa to southern Europe in the last 20 years. That’s 1000 bodies per year. And these are the ones who had survived war, rape, the desert, the journey to the coast. It couldn’t really be any further from the idealised image of the Med more commonly suggested in the media, and also perhaps reflected in many people’s holiday experiences or aspirations.  I have been aware of reports of dead refugees washed up on southern Italian beaches and , and have read Partir, a moving, tragic but excellent fictionalised account by Moroccan author Tahar Ben Jelloun of a migrant’s attempt to cross the Straits of Gibraltar. This isn’t mainstream fiction however, (not available in translation into English) and the aforementioned reports aren’t commonplace in the UK.

The migration debate is topical. It’s a policy which is supported by the SNP, but hasn’t really surfaced as a major feature of their independence campaign yet. Maybe it never will. The arguments to support it are usually economic. Migrants are trafficked as human commodities in order to provide a cheap and necessary source of labour in a globalised economy.  Colonialism alone is not to blame for the wretchedness suffered by these people in their quest to find the better life in the promised land of their colonial power.  The problem is they too often find the Promised Land has closed its doors to them; the discourses of security treat them as criminals and rob them of their dignity, their possessions and even their freedom to express themselves in direct defiance of the Geneva Convention. Political intransigence inside Europe on this issue has created a value system which prioritises security over human life and the perversity of globalisation has made both a necessity and an object of loathing out of the migrant among some (perhaps working class) communities – divide and rule.

The discussion opened up into a broader treatment of activism and groundswell movements, and neo-liberalism in higher education and how globalisation is working to marginalise radicalism and social justice in research and recruitment.   It was a fascinating session, and a real pleasure to meet Professor Mayo. He was hopeful that in Scotland we have values in our education system which might mitigate the appalling racism he described. Whether we do or not, we certainly have a responsibility to ensure that inter-ethnicity is developed in a positive way.

There are some signs of hope. One of them for me is the fantastic work done by a close friend of mine, Maggie Lennon in the Bridges Programmes she set up and manages. Bridges find employment and education opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers. It has many successes to boast of and should be celebrated as a shining example of social entrepreneurship working for justice and integration. There is so much scope for educators to learn from this project, and maybe vice-versa.  There’s also a massive need for more programmes like Bridges if migrants are to be considered as more than economic commodities in Scotland, and elsewhere.