Monday, June 18, 2018

STAR receives “Billion Acts Hero Award” from Nobel Peace Laureates

STAR has been awarded a Billion Acts Hero Award. STAR’s CEO was presented with the award on June 17th by Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams at the Monte Carlo Television Festival in Monaco.

Photo credit - Christine Wu
Photo credit – Christine Wu

About the Award

The Billion Acts of Peace is a global campaign led by 14 Nobel Peace Prize winners including The Dali Lama and Desmond Tutu. It has the ambitious goal of creating One Billion Acts of Peace worldwide by 2021, and in doing so, inspire community leaders, businesses, youth and everyday people to change the world, one Act of Peace at a time.

STAR wins the Best University Act which is one of the 6 awards given this year. STAR’s work was selected to win from over 10 million acts of peace worldwide.

Billion Acts is led by PeaceJam, an international movement led from the US with a UK affiliated section based at University of Winchester.

“I am thrilled that the wonderful work of STAR’s 27,000 students has been recognised by the Nobel Peace laureates. Our students volunteer tirelessly to welcome refugees, providing essential support and kindness to some of the most vulnerable and persecuted people in the world.” (STAR’s CEO Emma Williams)

About STAR

STAR is the movement of students building a society where refugees are welcomed and supported to lead happy and successful lives as equal members of our community.

STAR is a charity founded by students at Nottingham University in 1994. There are now 27,000 students in STAR with groups at 46 universities. STAR’s vision is a UK society that welcomes and supports refugees, we work to achieve this by advocating for refugee rights and by empowering students to:

Volunteer their time to deliver direct services to refugees in the community. Last year, 1,536 STAR student volunteers helped 4,079 refugees at 84 projects across the UK including English Conversation Clubs, drop ins and homework clubs for kids. Here are a couple of quotes from refugees about our Conversation Clubs:

“Before I needed interpreter at the doctor, now I do everything on my own”

“I love the Club, it is like my home, my friends are here…it makes a big, big difference to the English of the people who come here.”

Campaign to make the UK a more welcoming place for refugees. STAR’s student led Equal Access Campaign has secured scholarships for asylum seekers and refugees at 58 universities and counting. We also work with our government to make change, last year we persuaded them to give the 20,000 Syrian refugees being resettled in the UK immediate access to university. Here’s a quote from a young refugee, who is now a student at Greenwich University:

“For the past years I have worked with so many charities, but this charity in particular always kept in contact with me in either supporting me with getting into university or offer me to deliver workshop and so and so on. This charity supported so many young people from refugee and migrant background to get into university or college and so many other things. They always believed in me and my vision for the future.”

Educate people about refugees. STAR students stage educational events, including talks, films, plays and concerts, so that people can learn about the experiences of refugees and join the movement to create a welcoming society e.g. Cardiff University STAR stage Refugee Rhythms every year, this is a huge party for over 500 students, refugees and local young people who come together to dance to DJs from the refugee and Welsh communities, share world food made by refugee chefs and forge understanding and new friendships.

Here’s a quote from a former STAR student leader from Bristol University:

“Being President of STAR was the best thing I’ve done at University, it really made my experience. If I could stay and just do STAR I would. It challenged me in ways I never would have imagined and I’m a better person because of it. Thank you so much to everything you guys do.”

Posted by STAR team on 18/06/2018 at 10:52 AM