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Refugee Support Network

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Location Tried: Any or All Locations
Estimated costs: Nothing
Suggested frequency: Weekly
Hosted by: Your church
Activity: Community
Author: HOPE
Published: 29/09/2015

Description

The Refugee Support Network (RSN) supports young people affected by displacement and crisis, through an educational mentoring programme for unaccompanied refugee and asylum- seeking young people in the UK. This helps the refugees to access and progress in education so that they can achieve their potential.

Investing in education creates hope for the future, both for the young refugees in the UK and for those who return to regions of the world affected by conflict. The educational mentoring programme links up recently arrived young asylum seekers and refugees with a member from their local community who spends one hour per week with them, helping them with an agreed aspect of their education. In addition, mentors offer social support, providing a stable adult relationship, and help with understanding their new culture and local area, as well as accessing local services.

Rationale

For many of the young people that the RSN supports, the UK is the first place where they have been able to access education: and they tend to be very keen to succeed and progress in their studies. An educational mentor gives them a much better chance of doing well and progressing in their education. The young people being mentored are grateful and impressed that people will voluntarily give their time to help them.

Most of them have social workers, solicitors and teachers, but often no adult who spends time with them simply because they want to. The young people have had to leave their home countries because of conflict, persecution and oppression. Many have lived through significant trauma. They have been separated from their families to flee the UK, meaning that they have little social support here. Through the support of educational mentors they can know some comfort, care and encouragement.

Outcome

Those who mentor often report that spending time with refugee and asylum seeking young people, helps them to gain refreshing perspective on life and how privileged we are in the UK to live in freedom, safety and peace. “It’s been such a pleasure getting to know each other. We meet in a café one evening a week to go over any schoolwork she’s finding tough, with lots of laughter and a humbling insight into some of the struggles she faces."

"She is such an inspirational young lady who is determined to overcome the barriers she faces to succeed at school and build a better life for herself. I love the opportunity to get alongside her and provide support in such a practical way.” - Mentor

“My mentor helps me to stay strong and stay in college. I have a lot of things in my life which make me sad and sometimes I want to give up. It’s good to have someone to help you stay focused.” - 18 year old Syrian asylum seeker.

This idea can be found on page 168 of Hope Heartbeat ©2013 HOPE08 Ltd. For more ideas, Hope Heartbeat is available for purchase from the website above.

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