Skip to 0 minutes and 19 seconds Hello, I’m Kate, and I’m the Co-Founder of Crisis Classroom. Volunteering with Refugees has been built in partnership with Cambridge English to support people working on a voluntary basis with refugees and asylum seekers. The aim of the course is to raise awareness about the emotional and linguistic needs of learners who are settling in to life in a new country. So the main needs for refugees, especially if we’re talking of children, are the opportunity to be children. Literacy might be an issue, if they’re coming from a country with a totally different alphabet. If they’ve never studied English before, then that’ll be very, very useful for them to learn to read.
Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds Familiarising them with ABC’s and numbers, because that is very different from their mother language, Arabic. A lot of the things they’re reading for University in English. And they’re just looking for a better future and know that English as a universal language is going to help. In the first week of the course, we’ll be looking at the different contexts where you might be working with refugees. You might find that this is a formal context, such as the classroom, or you might be working in English in a much more informal way in a cafe or in a park.
Skip to 1 minute and 29 seconds For me, one of the most important things to start with is how engaging this activity is going to be for your learner or learners. We’ve used articles about successful refugees, people like Yusra Mardini, who’s from Syria. She swam a boat to safety in the Mediterranean and then she got chosen for the Olympic swimming team. She’s now living in Germany. In Week 2, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the potential barriers to learning that your students might face. Whether this is because they come from different educational backgrounds, speak different languages, and also the impact of having to begin again, in a new language, in a new city.
Skip to 2 minutes and 7 seconds For many refugees arriving from Syria to receiving countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, they come with only Arabic. The most important thing for most refugees is the ability to integrate well into the new community and find new relationships, In the final week, we’ll be looking at developing resources so that you can support your learners to become as confident as possible in using English. My activities are quite art oriented. So every time I start with an arts and crafts activity. And there’s always a storybook session. A lot of work that I do with refugees in this context is music making workshops; fun activities, playing games, making music together, writing songs together.
Skip to 2 minutes and 51 seconds But I’ve also been involved with other kinds of activities like cooking activities and reading. I’m quite good one-to-one with people, so often you’ll find that people just want to sit and have a nice conversation. The aim of this course is to enable you to become as effective as possible, what ever your volunteering role. I look forward to continuing this journey with you.