Thursday, August 15, 2019

Join STAR at university to welcome refugees!

Congratulations on your results, whatever they may be. If you’re off to university and already wondering what societies and volunteering opportunities lay ahead, then you’ve come to the right place! Read on to find out why should join STAR!

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-STAR Student Leader 2018/9

STAR is a national charity of 34,000 students welcoming refugees to the UK. Together we volunteer at local refugee projects, campaign to improve the lives of refugees and educate people about refugees and asylum.

There are 50 STAR groups at universities and colleges across the UK which are led by over 300 students. By joining your STAR group you’ll have loads of opportunities to get involved and make a real difference, making the UK a more welcoming place for refugees.

With STAR you can:

Volunteer

STAR members can make a positive difference to the lives of refugees by volunteering at local community centres, charities and schools. Students can offer a friendly face at drop-in centres, help with English conversation, organise food parcels or clothes collections, run activity clubs or help kids with their schoolwork. In doing so, students gain important skills and make a valuable contribution in their community.

Campaign

The world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, and the UK needs to play its part in providing safety for people who have been forced to flee their homes. But there are a number of policies in place that make life challenging for people seeking refugee protection here. There are few safe and regular routes to reach the UK, they have no right to work and they can be detained at any point during the asylum process.

STAR groups actively campaign to change this, writing to their local MPs, petitioning their universities for Equal Access scholarships to higher education for asylum seekers and urging the government to lift the ban, so those seeking asylum will not be prevented from working and thus forced to live on £5.39 a day.

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Educate

Students go to university to learn, so it’s a great place to find out the truth about refugees and asylum in the UK. We organise talks, films, exhibitions, plays and a whole host of other educational activities on and off campus so that students are well informed about why people flee, what happens when they arrive in the UK and what they can do to make people feel welcome.

Fundraise

Fundraise for STAR! STAR groups host loads of fun events like music festivals, pub quizzes and bake sales!

Joining a society at university is an integral part of student life, so why not join one that will help you make a difference in the lives of refugees in the UK, but also allow you the opportunity to make new friends and gain new skills!

The STAR national team are here to support you set up and run your STAR group, provide resources, expert advice and educational guides.

Click here to find your local group!
Or start your own!

And if you don’t believe us, check out some wonderful comments from previous STAR committee members!

“STAR is a great place to meet like-minded people and try to change other’s minds about refugees and asylum seekers! It’s great to be making an impact by campaigning and spreading awareness”

“This year STAR has opened my eyes to real world issues, given me the opportunity to meet so many new and interesting people and helped me to campaign enthusiastically!”

“STAR means a huge amount to all of us. It is a way of uniting behind a common cause and belief. We all feel so strongly about the issues STAR campaigns for and having the support of a national organisation like STAR to help galvanised us and motivates us is fantastic.”

“STAR to me is an amazing opportunity to help those who need it, in a proactive way. The more you give to STAR, the more you get out. I’ve learnt so much and I’ve been privileged to experience so much of this, that I otherwise wouldn’t have done.”

“STAR is a wonderful charity with an even more wonderful initiative. It is so amazing to see all the students coming together and creating opportunities for refugees to get involved with whilst campaigning for them at the same time.”

“Amazing people, important cause and massive impact. I have loved working for STAR as President for the last two years, it has made me feel like I was making a real difference whilst studying.”

“STAR has been a chance to work with amazing people from all walks of life to work towards a more welcoming and equal country. It’s been a privilege to work with STAR.”

“STAR is absolutely central to my uni experience. STAR is a great charity that is really powerful despite being small at the centre. I’ve had so much fun and learnt loads as a Student Trustee since November. At LSE, I’ve worked with an amazing team this year who have put so much effort in to make Refugee Week and our other events a success and I can’t wait to be president next year.”

“I have made so many friends who I have learnt a lot from. This year has been hard work but I have been rewarded by the impact of this and have learned so many skills. Through meeting refugees in Liverpool, I have had insight into so many different cultures and languages.
STAR has inspired me to continue this type of work for the rest of my life.”

“Creating a STAR group has taught me many skills and has allowed me to make a difference greater than we thought we could. Since the university has not progressed the equal access campaign for the next academic year, I applied for Whitelands President as you get free on campus accommodation and I’ve legalised giving this away for a refugee student. This allowed me to talk to many people in our university and demonstrate the power of the student voice. The experience has taught me many lessons and allowed us to spread our message.”

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Posted by STAR team on 15/08/2019 at 09:52 AM