We asked our Youth Bloggers how support should be given to Asylum Seekers and Refugees! Here’s what they have to say…
How Tabitha supports Asylum Seekers and Refugees
There are so many ways that we, as a country, can be more welcoming to new arrivals who may be struggling to make ends meet due to insufficient qualifications, limited English or other difficulties. In an article from the University of Global Health Equity, they stated that “the majority of refugee families lack reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food”, and the magnitude of this problem only increases the longer the pandemic goes on. With workers made redundant and unable to get new jobs, some people cannot afford the bare necessities, making resources like food banks all the more important. These organisations work to provide much-needed emergency food packages to people in crisis, from monetary and food donations. This includes mainly non-perishable items such as dried or canned goods which can be kept for months, stored and given out when the need arises. There are many food banks across Leicester which could mean the difference between a family going hungry or making it through another day, and they are all calling out for volunteers to help them achieve their goals. For example, Leicester South Food Bank is looking for delivery van drivers for people who cannot pick up food parcels for themselves, fundraisers, warehouse volunteers to pack and sort donations, and website editors to increase their reach. A newer addition to the effort is Woodgate Community Food, set up specifically in response to the pandemic, and they too are looking for volunteers to give out parcels, be delivery drivers, administrate or answer phone orders. If you want to get involved, the easiest way to contact them is through their Facebook page.
Sources: Article – https://ughe.org/managing-complexities-food-security-among-refugees/
Leicester South Food Bank applications – https://leicestersouth.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/volunteer/
Woodgate Community Food website – https://woodgatecommunityfood.org.uk/volunteering
WCF Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/woodgatecommunityfood
Tabitha, Leicester, 15
How Zobia supports Asylum Seekers and Refugees
There are many ways you can help refugees that are coming to the UK to seek protection and shelter. One of the most common ways is to donate goods. In big supermarkets, sometimes they have trays that you can donate food into. Or you can donate directly to charities like the Red Cross, Oxfam, Save the children, UN refuge agency, UNICEF, World food programme and Refugees action. Another way to help is by applying for a community sponsorship. This is a way that community groups can be involved in supporting the resettlement of vulnerable people fleeing conflict. People will be allocated a family and it would be their responsibility to support the resettlement of the family when they arrive in the UK.
Zobia, Portsmouth, 17
How Emilia supports Asylum Seekers and Refugees
We forget when we hear about refugees on the news that these are real people that have suffered tremendously and have come to Britain seeking a better life for themselves and their family. They have come to us because we pride ourselves on our freedom, peace and development, and yet our citizens are often displeased by the sight of “foreigners” in our country. I think it is important to look at the negative view people have on those coming into our country. From many peoples perspective, those seeking asylum and refuge ‘increase the population’ and ‘steal our jobs’ and ‘they don’t deserve help if we cannot even get those of us born and raised in Britain off the streets’. We don’t sympathise with these people and are unable to think about what we would expect if we were in that situation. Additionally, many don’t see the input these people have in our lives and the value they can add to our country like any other UK citizen. They could help do the jobs that many people cringe at thinking about doing or even advance the medical field and change our country. They can even bring new cultures and ways of life to our country that we may never experience. Now, how can we help?
- We must welcome them into our communities, helping them to adjust and taking measures that they can assimilate into our society without losing their culture or heritage.
- We must support them with their mental health and guide them through trauma and the adjustment of lifestyle.
- We must not judge or discriminate against them when they try and seek out things like jobs.
- We can also embrace their culture and help share their story. Refugee Action is a great charity helping refugees find safe and productive new lives in the UK. We need to support charities like these to help those in need, as well as the UK. These are people in a time of need looking for ways to not only better their lives, but to better their future in this country by helping it in small and large ways. We must always treat people with kindness and find a way for everyone to have a happier, safer future. We can do this if we change our views and behaviours, support charities like Refugee Action and help those in times of despair.
Emilia, Leicester, 15
Images are from Unsplash
This blog has been edited by Alice