Our Chief Executive, Zrinka Bralo, visited London’s Queens Gate school on Monday 6th November to talk to students about refugees and migrants in the UK. Drawing on her own experiences of navigating Britain’s asylum system in the mid-1990s after fleeing the war in Bosnia, Zrinka outlined some of the challenges that refugees frequently encounter.
Describing the logistical, legal, emotional and cultural obstacles that migrants face while trying to reach and settle in the UK, she gave examples of people overcoming adversity – from Ahmed, a quick-thinking seven-year old Afghan refugee who used a mobile phone to save a van full of migrants from suffocating, to the group of refugee women who, for the first time in history, spoke at the UN.
Zrinka also highlighted the British media’s portrayal of refugees and migrants and its role in shaping British attitudes towards migration. Around 35 enthusiastic pupils aged 11 to 18 were shown a collection of newspaper headlines to help them understand how media discourse on migrants is often politically led, uses demonising language, and fails to tell the whole story.
The students were also encouraged to think about what they could do in the future to support migrants in the UK, from joining the 200 plus volunteers already helping out at Migrants Organise, to contributing their own voices to discussions on immigration. “Eventually my generation will be out of date,” said Zrinka. “It’s young people like you who will carry the debate forward.”
To find out more about volunteering with Migrants Organise, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Eleanor Weber-Ballard, email@example.com