SOAS Solidarity with Refugees and Displaced People Society is a student-led initiative that raises awareness about the issues people affected by displacement face, challenge the often-misrepresentative narrative around migration and organise activities to support and show solidarity with migrant communities across London.
We were established in September 2015 and some of our achievements include:
- Founded ‘Education Beyond Borders’, a student led campaign for the establishment of SOAS Sanctuary Scholarships, a five year scheme which help improve access to edducation by providing 7 scholarships per year to asylum seekers and people with leave to remain, and will run for the first time in 2016/17.
- We represent students on the SOAS Sanctuary Scholarships Steering Committee. We have been working in collaboration with the Alumni and Development team and successfully raised £138,565 through our crowdfunder for the scholars living expenses.
- Hosted a series of panel discussions and documentary screenings giving a platform to advocacy groups, academics, women’s rights groups, experts by experience and migrant rights associations.
- Hosted an evening of Arabic, Iranian, Turkish and Kurdish music which raised £1,400 for Proactiva Open Arms, a Spanish search and rescue NGO that is dedicated to saving lives off the island of Lesvos.
- Established volunteering and donation projects with the British Red Cross Refugee Services, the Red Cross Hackney Destitution Centre, and the Notre Dame Refugee Centre.
- Over the last 12 months we have hosted and worked in collaboration with a wide range of organisations, including: Refugee Council, Asylum Aid, Asylum Support Appeals Project, Detention Action, Refugee Support Network, Tourist With a Typewriter, Migrants’ Rights Network, Women for Refugee Women, Detention Forum, London Refugee Women’s Forum, Let Us Learn, Reconnect, Sandblast, Western Sahara Campaign, Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, Counterpoints Arts.
Want to get involved?
1. Show solidarity by joining our Facebook group at ... http://bit.ly/1TJlfQU, attending our events, raising concerns at student rep meetings and discussing these issues in your seminars and with your friends and family. If you would like to recieve our fortnightly newletter sign up to our mailing list by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Join our volunteer programme and take a couple of hours of your week to support London based organisations that support refugees and migrants. We work with the British Red Cross Hackney Destitution Centre and also have connections with local parters. For more about volunteering email email@example.com.
3. Keep up to date with the progress of the Sanctuary Scholarship programme by visiting our new website which includes videos, scholarship recipient testemonials, articles, and practical information about how to support the Education Beyond borders Campaign - https://www.soassanctuary.org/
4. Donate to Refugees. We have collection boxes in the JCR and ask students and staff to donate warm clothing, winter coats, and household items such as blankets and utilites to support destitute refugees and asylum seekers. We have donation partnerships with the Red Cross Hackney Destitution Centre and Notre Dame Refugee Centre. If you wish to donate please make sure the items are in good condition, clean, and appropriate.