Young refugees need your support to get the vital help they need to survive and flourish during COVID-19 and beyond. Your donation will provide educational mentoring, careful advice and guidance, and specialist support for those struggling with poor mental health. Please Give between £5 and £25,000 during the Big Give campaign and your donation will be doubled, at no cost extra cost to you. Please spread the campaign far and wide! The link to donate and share is: https://bit.ly/3hviPbj
Where we are now:
2020 has been an incredibly stretching and challenging time for young refugees and for RSN. Practically, emotionally, and financially we are all at our weakest.
Young refugees constantly tell us how much education means to them. Even at the best of times, refugees face the significant challenges they face in moving forward in their studies, such as past gaps in education, English as a second language, the impact of trauma, lack of access to technology, poor mental health and social isolation. The shared desire to overcome these challenges is why RSN exists.
8 weeks ago, we specifically reassessed the situation of every young refugee we work with and committed to meeting each person’s individual needs. Unfortunately, the barriers to progress and integration we usually see have been exacerbated by Covid-19 and lockdown.
Urgent mental health problems, widespread material poverty and isolation, and difficulty accessing and remaining in education has meant refugees are facing impossible choices about whether to continue with higher education courses. Home schooling is impossible when you are alone and thousands of miles from home.
What needs to happen next:
We have managed to stay Connected Through Covid by adjusting our services, launching initiatives and responding holistically and caringly to each young person’s needs. We are also taking on a new staff member to meet the increase in demand for support.
A, for example, an 18-year old Sudanese refugee, needs more regular support sessions on Zoom. He is working five 12-hour night shifts a week in a warehouse and struggles to navigate the e-learning for his Engineering course alone. Without guiding him through that, helping to facilitate easier accommodation and deliver necessities, he will drop out of his course.
We know that our model works and that the support we are providing boosts young refugees’ confidence, wellbeing and educational outcomes. But in order to ‘keep connected’ going forward, we need to fund these services and increase our capacity, urgently.
We could never have anticipated these additional needs. To keep our services running, we need to raise £60,000 by the end of June. We are incredibly grateful to have secured matched funding for our Big Give Campaign, which means all donations to RSN between 23rd-30th June will be doubled.
How you can help:
The Big Give is a matched fundraising campaign which takes place between 23rd and 30th June 2020: every pound we raise up to £30,000 during that week will be doubled. We are asking everyone we know to chip in whatever they can for young refugees to Keep Connected going forward. Donations before and after the campaign won’t be doubled, so make sure to spread the word at the time. We are incredibly grateful to those who are matching your donations: our team of individual pledgers and the Childhood Trust. We are proud to work with them in improving the lives of disadvantaged children in London.
£13 ensures that an isolated young refugee doesn’t have to deal with the impact of COVID-19 alone by giving them a vital phone call, video chat or personalised connection to a local service to help them in the long term.
£27 enables a young person to be accompanied - in person or remotely - by one of RSN’s specialist support workers to a complex college enrolment or an important meeting with a doctor, lawyer or welfare advisor that they would struggle to face alone.
£69 facilitates a term of mentoring sessions for an isolated young refugee, helping them to move forward in their education and grow in confidence
If you have any questions or want to help support our fundraising efforts at this time, get in touch with Moses on [email protected]