Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Volunteering with refugee children?

If you’re running or are interested in volunteering for a local project with refugee children, this is for you!

RCP picture

STAR has some funding from the Department for Schools, Children and Families especially for your STAR group to deliver positive activities for young refugees, driven by the passions, cares and ideas of young refugees themselves.

This funding is to support and enable student groups based in England to deliver educational, social and sporting activities to over 500 refugee children and young people.
The aim is to give children and young people the opportunity to meet and build relationships with British young people, reducing their isolation and improving their self-confidence and self-esteem.

What kind of things can you do?

Here are some examples of the type of activity you could get help with:

  • In-school support: Assisting with reading and class work, helping with homework, and exploring and encouraging progression to further and higher education.
  • Homework and social clubs: Providing structured activities to help young refugees develop their literacy and numeracy skills, and/or social activities such as crafts, drama and sports.
  • Sports projects: Helping young refugees take part in sporting activities; for example football clubs where teams of refugees can meet and play with other young people.

What help can you get?

If you would like to run or be involved in practical support for refugee children, the STAR national office can help you in three ways:

Training

You’ll have access to specialised training, both from the national office and from external trainers. Get in touch about what training you would like, and we’ll let you know of any opportunities that come up. For now you can browse through the types of training we have had in the past, so you can get an idea of what may be on offer in the near future.

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Project co-ordinator training, Bristol, {5th, 6th & 7th September’08}

The training in Bristol was designed to develop the skills, knowledge and potential of our STAR Project co-ordinators and it has given them the confidence to run successful Refugee Children’s practical support projects.

Working with refugee children, London {17th & 18th April ’09}

This training programme focused largely on the emotional needs of refugee children and how volunteers could support them, Aoife Higgins of the Children’s Society led the training.

What do kids want? London {14th March ’09} and Birmingham {21st March ’09}

Beba Parker, a specialist in the refugee children’s field, ran two training sessions for STAR volunteers wanting to work with refugee children.

Specialised Training

Groups have also received customised training on Child Protection and Positive management of difficult behaviours.

If you’re signed up to the Refugee Children Programme, you’ll have the opportunity to receive training for you and your project. Get in touch for more details.

Sharing ideas

STAR is a network of student groups. Other groups are working with refugee children and teaming up with others and hearing their ideas could help you develop your own project. Training and conference are great opportunities to meet with members of other groups to share ideas. Contact us for more examples, and if you’re involved in working with refugee children, why not consider writing an article for the website to share what you’ve learned?

Support, advice and information

We’re here to help. Get in touch if you’d like to talk over your ideas and for any other suggestions or guidance.

How do I get involved?

To find out more about working with refugee children and young people, and how you can get involved, please contact Kim Hawkins, Volunteering Support Officer. STAR groups who would like to start running a project for refugee children, or who are doing so at the moment, can get support and assistance from the national office, including training, help finding a good project to partner with, and help with funding.

Here’s what other groups are doing!

King’s College STAR have partnered with the Katherine Lowe Settlement, a local community organisation, to run an after-school homework and social club for 35 refugee children aged 5-15. Twenty volunteers provide activities such as tutoring, games, arts and crafts, workshops and day trips.

Birmingham STAR run Splat, an activities session held at a local refugee accommodation centre twice a week. The volunteers run play sessions with the children, providing games and toys. This gives parents a break, and gives the kids something different to do, as well as brining children from different families together.

St. George’s STAR run STAR FC, a football club that provides weekly football training and a match for 30 refugee men and boys aged over 14. This gives them the chance to make friends, enter local leagues and meet players from other communities.

RCP Resources

The Refugee Council has produced a very useful resource pack which could help your RCP project. It includes resources designed for those working with young refugees and asylum seekers in secondary schools.

Hand in Hand resource pack

Posted by STAR team on 04/02/2009 at 04:28 PM
in Volunteering Opportunities  

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