On Monday 17th June Migrants Organise will join the #LondonLegalWalk to raise funds for our front line support services. Show your solidarity- support and donate today.
Why are we walking?
Our Community Programme provides unique, holistic support to migrants and refugees when they need it most. It started as a Mentoring Programme more ten years ago. Our modest ambition to match 20 migrants and refugees with 20 volunteer mentors has, in response to needs, grown into regular activities such as ESOL classes, poetry and spoken word classes, sewing class and many other forms of well-being activities. These are all aimed at helping, often destitute people, break out of a cycle of exclusion and soul destroying loneliness. This isolation stems from deliberate hostile environment policies such as not being allowed to work or study and being stuck in immigration limbo for many years.
Due to cuts in legal aid, access to justice for many of our members has became impossible. That is why we had no choice but to start providing advice and support in immigration, health and welfare too. Our very small team of advisors, many of them law students who volunteer and intern with us, last year worked on 460 legal cases, many of them for families and children. We have worked with many great lawyers who often represent very vulnerable people on a pro-bono basis.
As hostile environment polices started penetrating public services, like our NHS, we started challenging the often wrong and unjust charges for very ill refugees and migrants. In some cases their debt was scandalously sold by NHS trusts to private debt collectors.
It is in these stories and experiences that we hear every day, that we support and in turn inform our organising and campaigning work for lasting structural change, such as our #PatientsNotPassports campaign.
Funding this essential work is a struggle and we are very grateful to foundations that support us. But individual donations are crucial to secure this support and access to justice. It is hard to imagine, but our members cannot come to get advice or to meet with their volunteer mentors unless we pay for their travel.
It’s shocking that in 2019 here in the UK, people in the asylum system are forced to live without any income- often not qualifying for financial support and cruelly not allowed to work. They are trapped into situations that exploit them. Some may qualify for asylum support but this is as tiny as £35 per week – and not even given in cash, so they cannot afford the most basic of things. Without the right to work, it is not a surprise that destitution is so high.
On a daily basis we at Migrants Organise are humbled by the dignity and resilience with which our members endure this unjust treatment, which sadly goes on for years.
The demand for our Community Programme advice, training and mentoring is overwhelming and we need your help.
This is why we need your donations for direct aid for people trapped in a cruel system. Last year we raised more than £40,000 form donations and every single penny went to people who need it.
Help us challenge the injustice and secure dignity for vulnerable people.
There are several ways you can support us:
1. Make a donation – every little helps – £5 will pay for one person to attend a meeting with their lawyer or come to our English class.
2. Walk with us so refugees and migrants never walk alone! Join our team and walk with us through central London on Monday 17th June Sign up here
The Migrants Organise team will meet up at 5pm at Holborn Station, on the 17th to join thousands of participants of the London Legal Walk Support Trust walking together. If you are able to walk with us please register so that we know that you will be joining us and that we can bring a t-shirt for you.
3. Become a volunteer mentor and provide weekly face to face support to migrants and refugees stuck in a punishing immigration system – email Francesca@migrantsorgansie.org
4. Spread the word. Please invite your friends to join us and make a donation. All funds raised will help us get one step closer to justice for hundreds of people.
You can watch a short film from our Team Walk last year here.
To find out more about our work watch our members speak out on Netflix here.
Share our appeal with your friends and encourage them to make a donation