The theme for this year’s Refugee Week (19th-23rd June) is compassion – together, let’s turn compassion into action.
Compassion into Action Activity Ideas
- Stand up for Refugees
This Refugee Week, take a stand to make the UK a more welcoming place for people seeking sanctuary. Can students write an op-ed for the local press or speak to your local radio station talking about your plans for Refugee Week, what they have learnt and why they think people seeking safety should be treated with kindness and compassion? Listen to pupils from St Dunstan’s talk to their local radio for inspiration!
Alternatively, help and encourage staff and students to write letters to your local MP asking them to also stand for refugee rights and why this is important to them. Take it one step further and invite them to school where they can learn more about what sanctuary means to your school. To help you plan, have a look at Corpus Christi Primary School’s visit from their MP, Jess Philips. We’ve been so impressed with the way some of the youngest students in our schools have advocated for refugee rights and how some older students have researched their MPs voting record to prepare for their visit – will your students join them?
- Reach out & support your local refugee organisation
Those working in the refugee sector are working in ever more hostile and over-stretched circumstances – this Refugee Week show your appreciation and respect for them by asking what you can do to support the work they do. Can staff and students volunteer to help with tidying the garden, painting the wall or organising donations? Can the student choir sing at a drop in session? Can the school offer access to the school playing fields, assembly hall or school bus on the weekend to support the charity’s activities?
- Welcome Letters
Amidst recent incidences of hostility towards people seeking safety in our communities, it’s even more important to make sure our new neighbours hear us loud and clear when we say “you are welcome here”.
Reach out to your local refugee charity and ask if they could help distribute welcome cards to new arrivals. Spend a lesson designing and creating beautiful welcome cards with messages of solidarity and kindness to people seeking safety, maybe even including recommendations for some of the places or things that you think make your town great, and wishing the recipient a warm welcome to your local area.
Take it one step further and work with your local refugee organisation to prepare welcome packs with things that new arrivals need. Ask them what items would be most helpful and work to collect donations and make welcome packs that the refugee organisation can share (along with the beautiful welcome packs!)
- Host a Community Event
Organise and host a community event to celebrate the contributions of people seeking safety. Invite local dignitaries, members of partner organisations and institutions like libraries and religious settings and your local refugee organisation.
Can students perform song, dance or drama around sanctuary themes and can students use this event to practice advocating and calling for positive change? Could students and their families be invited in to cook foods from around the world to feed attendees? Could students and their families perform songs from their homelands?
- Join the Refugee Week Big Fundraiser
This year, join our School of Sanctuary Refugee Week fundraiser by taking part in an exciting fundraising activity.
Donate 50% or at least £50 to Schools of Sanctuary and the rest to your local refugee support organisation.
Have a look at our Refugee Week Big Fundraiser Blog for more information.