Monday 22nd October can mean many things. To you it could be the day Arsenal play Leicester, the chance for a night at the infamous Raz or merely a gloomy feeling that the weekend has come to an end. For Liverpool Guild of Students, Monday 22nd has a different meaning. It heralds the beginning of Refugee Action Week. This is an unrivalled opportunity to aid understanding of the global refugee crisis and crucially how students like ourselves can help.
The refugee crisis can seem far off and a far bigger issue than any one student can hope to tackle. However, through the Governments Syrian Resettlement Programme, a 100 humanitarian refugees are being relocated to Liverpool before late 2020. To make new members of the community more welcome, it is important to educate ourselves on the struggles people may have faced since fleeing war and conflict abroad.
Refugee Action Week begins with a very moving exhibition. The Effects of Fortress Europe is on display all week in Activity Space 4 in the guild. This display features Banu Cennetoglu’s list of all reported deaths of refugees and migrants. These 34,361 deaths are linked to the harsh border control policies implemented by European authorities.
Who doesn’t like free film tickets? On Wednesday 24th October there is a free screening of Shadow World on in the Harold Wilson Room at 6pm. You can book tickets via the guild website. Shadow World (2016) is a documentary film exploring the multi million pound deals within the arms trade industry. Even better, the author Andrew Feinstein will be in attendance, providing both an introduction and a Q&A session following the screening. This may not be the most light-hearted of evenings, but is expected to be incredibly eye-opening.
On Thursday 25th there’s a friendly football match taking place at the Anfield Community Centre between 3pm and 5pm. Come and enjoy the Ullet Road Church Rebels take on the Liverpool Guild. You can take part in the match or cheer rowdily from the side!
The grand finale of the week is a panel discussion, taking place in our very own Gilmour Room on Friday 26th. Come along at 6pm to witness four fantastic guest speakers talk over the Refugee Crisis. Our speakers include Jared Ficklin who runs the University of Liverpool Law Clinic, giving free legal advice to asylum seekers. Lida Amiri both a PhD candidate and the organiser of ‘Refugee in Literature, Film, Art and Media: Perspectives on Past and Present’ at WoWFest. Genna Rouke, the founder of the amazing local charity MerseyAid and Oyewole Ajabe, a senior caseworker at Asylum Link.
How to get involved?
If Refugee Action Week makes you want to get involved, there are several opportunities coming up throughout the next few months. The national student led campaign, SolidariTee is coming back to Liverpool for another year. SolidariTee recruits students to sell T-shirts throughout the year to raise money to help asylum seekers in Greece and Turkey. If this appeals to you, get in contact via the email link below.
Several student societies work tirelessly to help local refugees. You can find a different society in Activity Space 4, 10am-4pm from Monday to Thursday. Pop along to find out about their fantastic work and how you can get involved. To start the week, Liverpool University Feminist Society are set up to talk about their Pads4Refugees campaign.
On Tuesday 23rd you have the chance to meet the University of Liverpool Amnesty International society. They are running a campaign titled ‘I Welcome Refugees’. They would also welcome visitors to their stand between 10am and 4pm.
Help the Homeless Society work closely with MerseyAid. They pack donations and food aid in a local warehouse to be distributed overseas. Help the Homeless run a weekly breakfast kitchen with local asylum seekers and need volunteers, especially anyone with a car! You can speak to Help the Homeless Society on Wednesday 24th and find out about their campaign to lift the ban on refugee’s right to work.
STAR (student action for refugees) runs English conversation classes throughout the week and needs student volunteers. On Thursday 25th go to Activity Space 4 and find out how to get involved with their campaign for equal access to higher education for refugees.
It’s time to get involved. Come to the panel discussion and check out these local ways you can help a global problem. Let Monday 22nd October mean Refugee Action Week to you!
To get involved follow the links below:
To become a SolidariTee Rep:
To find out more about STAR:
To find out more about Help the Homeless Society:
To find out more about University of Liverpool Feminist Society:
To find out more about University of Liverpool Amnesty International Society: