It’s refugee week!
We celebrated with the residents of the initial accommodation centre where we teach. If you want to know more about the centre and what we do there, check out this other post. Today, as part of the refugee week activities, we handed out lots of free books to adults and children – but the kids were definitely the most enthusiastic! Many of them aren’t able to go to school for several months while they are sent from centre to centre, so they’re well keen on any distraction or activity.
We also met again with former residents of the centre and former students who have (finally) received status, and are now struggling with finding work and accommodation. Many job applications are sent back with the notorious question “are you from the UK/EU?”, and the JobCentre people keep pushing them to take jobs as cleaners whatever their professional or educational background is… So putting together a deposit for a room/flat becomes impossible, as refugees have only 28 days after they receive status to find a new place to stay. In fact, there’s a small group trying to address this problem by matching asylum seekers / refugees and people with a spare room, check them out!