During this difficult time, we are all trying to stay positive, hopeful and connected to one another. To make it a bit easier, we're running a Connected through Covid initiative.
The initiative has three elements: to send solidarity to vulnerable young people, to learn from refugees about how to cope with the challenges we are facing through their 'Dear Friend' responses, and to make a donation to RSN to keep our services running. Together, our specific aim is to maintain that crucial human connection between refugees and their support workers, between friends, families and communities, and between our growing movement as a whole. You can read about all three, here.
At the beginning of lockdown, we asked members of the public to send messages of solidarity to refugees. We realised that with the new restrictions, young refugees would be separated from their friends at school or college, lonely in unfamiliar surroundings and at risk of retrauma. The brief mentioned poems, art, stories or just a hello. RSN followers, mentors, volunteers, fundraisers, supporters, artists, athletes, activists and a whole bunch of new friends got in touch. Your heart-warming kindness, love and inguinuity was really appreciated by every young person who received one. It's certainly not too late to get involved. Every day is a struggle for many and we are more than happy to pass on the message.
The messages we passed on were met an amazing response. In fact, besides graciousness and gratitude, the response was an insightful. The recipients thought that to send solidarity back, they could record their own messages and, what's more, help the senders and the broader public with how to deal with some of the challenges which now face us. Sadly, feelings of loneliness and disconnection and experience of school closures and lockdown are not new to some young refugees. We're still processing their advice for you to hear, but we've uploaded some and hope they get you through these days. More here!
Over the past 9 years, we have met hundreds of young people at different stages of their journeys. We passionately believe in them. We have found time and again that by building human connections, nurturing friendships and encouraging refugees to be leaders, young people who have fled terrible persecution can rebuild their lives and flourish. Through educational and specialist support, lives can change, and your support has made that possible. Now we are faced with a serious challenge. Our funding situation has significantly changed and we urgently need your additional support.
Your donation would go directly towards the costs of specialist staff who work around-the-clock to be there for vulnerable refugees. It would go towards our amazing mentoring co-ordinators, without whom our nationwide educational mentoring programme would simply stop functioning. And it would go towards our Young Refugees Crisis Response stream, which provides food, medical supplies and technology. We have to raise £60,000 by June 2020 to keep our services running. Please consider making a donation and spreading the word with your friends and communities. It is needed now more so than ever. Thank you.