During this year’s Refugee Week, Colegrave primary school opened its doors and hearts to the Refugee Council; raising money for us during their Refugee Celebration Day. Two of our inspirational volunteers, Arnold and Brenda visited the school and shared their personal experiences of being forced from their homes with the young people. Here, Colegrave teacher Dylan shares his thoughts on the impact our visit had.
It was very empowering for our school to have a ‘redefining’ of the word refugee that is fresh and true from adults the children would not otherwise meet.
It was wonderful for them to hear very clearly who refugees are, what the Refugee Council does and why there are refugees in the first place.
Arnold and Brenda spoke with their hearts open, letting our children understand refugee experiences based on their own.
I am personally absolutely convinced that listening to Arnold and Brenda in person and being able to ask them questions has had an impact on the children’s learning and on their thinking; I could see in their faces that they were thinking about what they have in common with Arnold and Brenda rather than what makes all of us different.
We raised over £500 on the day, with some of the older children even donating the pocket money they would’ve normally spent on ice cream or chocolate.
At the end of the day, one of the boys who’d been listening to Arnold and Brenda shyly shared with classmates that he too was a refugee from Syria.
I hope that very many of these children will become kind and responsible adults with the help of moments like these.