Grow Power

Since joining Migrants Organise a few months ago I’ve trekked across different parts of London getting to know the people working within our communities:

Leao runs a church in North West London, his congregation is as a diverse as you’d expect from a busy, urban church and consequently the needs are complex and pressing. He’s feeling increasingly challenged by the complexities of asylum law and how it affects members of his congregation who come to him for help. Together we’re looking at ways to set up as a Legal Advice Clinic in his surgery.

Ardo focuses on building an awareness of TB within her Somali community in West London. As a TB survivor herself she knows how debilitating the illness can be, yet how simple the prevention can be. She explained how stigma can be the killer- it stops people from getting advice, seeking medicine and getting cured. Together we’re supporting Ardo and her colleagues to register as a charity and gain funds.

However, we know this isn’t enough. As a sector we need to grow our power and carve out ways for more migrants and refugee communIties to influence decisions at a structural level. Last year with our support Leao’s church ran a voter registration drive and hustings events in the lead up to the General Election. Whilst a couple of months ago Ardo and her colleagues attended engagement evenings with the head of her local council. With our encouragement they’re also getting involved in a pan-London wide campaign tackling rogue landlords and pushing for genuine affordable housing across London.

Providing excellent services to our communities is integral in meeting the health, wellbeing and rights of vulnerable communities. However, only through building our connections, strengthening our collective voice and increasing our power can we challenge the conditions that define our rights. For migrants and refugees (and their champions), there has never been a more urgent time to do this.

That is why Migrants Organise is focusing on community organising, voter registration drives and campaigns to build our power.

Ffion Wyn Evans

Participation Manager

MRCF Recognised as Leaders in Integration by Deputy Mayor Barnes and Cllr. Ahern

MRCF Recognised as Leaders in Integration by Deputy Mayor Barnes and Cllr. Ahern

Nov 12 2010

Last Friday, MRCF warmly welcomed Deputy Mayor Richard Barnes from GLA and Cllr. Tim Ahern from RBKC to show how integration and…

Refugee and Migrant Social Entrepreneurs and Big Society

Refugee and Migrant Social Entrepreneurs and Big Society

Oct 19 2010

Last week, MRCF hosted a group of refugee and migrant social entrepreneurs to discuss their role in Big Society and the challenges…

Migrants for London [video]

Migrants for London [video]

Oct 07 2010

Migrants’ Rights Network (MRN), with the support of MRCF, recently produced and launched- ‘Migrants for London’. This video explores the conflicting reality…

MRCF Celebrates A Successful Year at AGM

MRCF Celebrates A Successful Year at AGM

Oct 07 2010

On September 23, MRCF celebrated our accomplishments over the last year. Zrinka Bralo, MRCF Executive Director, gave a presentation about our programmes’…

Why is digital activism important for migrants and refugees?

Why is digital activism important for migrants and refugees?

Oct 04 2010

As MRCF prepares for its second course on Digital Activism, I have been contemplating why and how digital activism is crucial for…

A Room without Walls

A Room without Walls

Sep 29 2010

The words below are a true account by one of the Active for Rights group members. The narrative was developed collectively through…

A day in the life of our Advice Worker

A day in the life of our Advice Worker

Jul 28 2010

This morning started with a pleasant surprise. In May 2009 I wrote to the Home Office on behalf of one of my…

Will ‘big society’ be big enough for all of us?

Will ‘big society’ be big enough for all of us?

Jul 23 2010

Yesterday I was working with the Co-ordinator of one of MRCF’s member organisations on a funding application. At the end of the…

MRCF Launches Report on Earned Citizenship and Volunteering

MRCF Launches Report on Earned Citizenship and Volunteering

Jul 14 2010

Migrants  and refugees hardly ever get to have a say on any policy that directly affects them. And so was the case…

Should Citizenship Be Earned Through Compulsory Volunteering?

Should Citizenship Be Earned Through Compulsory Volunteering?

Jul 07 2010

The Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 introduced a longer and more difficult process for becoming a British Citizen, including a type…