The session was opened by Alaa Al Khourdajie, a Postgraduate UCU member and UCU Contact in the Department of Economics, who spoke about some of the actions we can take in response to the ‘refugee crisis’ and introduced two speakers:
- Bernie Howley, Founder and Chair of Bath Welcomes Refugees, outlined the work that the group are doing to help settle and support refugees in Bath;
- Christopher Roche, Bath UCU Vice President, spoke about a recent trip to deliver donations to and work in the refugee camp in Calais, the urgent need to allow refugees into the UK ahead of the impending razing of the camp by the French government and asked for people to support the “Phone Credit for Refugees Project“.
Alaa introduced the film, which tells the story of “The White Helmets“, volunteer rescue workers in Syria, responding to military attacks in civilian areas. The film is available now to watch online through Netflix.
The sessions was very well attended, and the staff and students present donated over £200 in cash, plus more online and by phone, to three organisations:
- The White Helmets crowd fund: https://herofund.whitehelmets.org/donate/crowdfund
- Bath Welcomes Refugees: http://giv.today/bathwelcomes
- Phone Credit for Refugees project: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/phonecreditforrefugees or text: CALA85 and the amount you want to donate to 70070.
If you were unable to attend the event, please take a look at the links above and consider making a donation.
The Bath UCU branch will continue to campaign for the rights of refugees, and all migrants in the UK. We continue to support calls for the creation of university scholarships for refugees and are making plans for future deliveries of donations and volunteer to workers to Calais and elsewhere. If you would like to become more involved in these initiatives, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.