Friday, January 05, 2018

‘Welcoming Refugees as Friends’

On New Year’s Day STAR had a star turn on national radio.

Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 did a major feature on women who will be 18 years of age in 2018. They sought out interesting young women who are making their mark in society and asked STAR to help.

UWC Atlantic College in South Wales

That came from Bethan Evans, who turns 18 in the autumn.

She’s a member of Atlantic College STAR – one of our school groups and connected to Cardiff University STAR.

Bethan has volunteered with STAR to assist refugees at the English Conversation Club at the Trinity Centre in Cardiff, she’s also hosted refugees when they visit Atlantic College.

As a charity STAR helps refugees and asylum seekers in a number of ways. Local groups run local volunteering projects and English conversation classes at universities all over the country to welcome and support around 4000 refugees.

At a national level we also campaign for Equal Access to education, as well as pressuring the government to change the rules on reuniting refugee children in the UK with their families.

Speaking to presenter, Jane Garvey, Bethan explained how she helps groups teach English to refugees and makes them feel welcome.

Shoes of refugees

Asked why she wanted to get involved Bethan said: “it was putting myself in the shoes of refugees coming to Wales. I imagine it’s a very terrifying thing to arrive to a whole new culture, a whole new country where you don’t speak the language.

“This really inspired me to help them learn the language and help them integrate into the culture.”

She added: “For a lot of the refugees I think there’s a big sense of hostility towards them, they are often pushed into communities where they rely on each other and I think that it’s really important that as young people we are able to interact because we are the future.

Welcome new people

“And I think it’s extremely important that we are able to help welcome new and diverse people into our communities to give us alternate perspectives. I think it’s important we welcome new refugees as friends into the country.”

You can listen to an excerpt from Bethan on Woman’s Hour

Posted by STAR team on 05/01/2018 at 04:25 PM