Following the motion to NEC and Congress proposing that UCU set up a summer school for refugees in the Calais camp it has proved difficult to provide a formal and structured provision. However we would like to provide as much support as possible to enable members to actively bring solidarity in following ways:
1. Provide contacts with education organisations working with refugees in this country.
2. Coordinate collections of resources to be delivered to the Care4Calais warehouse in Calais at the cost of UCU, for distribution for refugees.
3. Develop educational resources such as themed language resources in both English and French to be used in the camp. UCU would cover the printing and reproduction costs.
4. Provide basic initial language teacher training for members with that need. This could be provided by teacher trainers and ESOL specialists.
5. Provide contacts for members to volunteer for Care4Calais in distributing aid. It has been suggested that volunteers organizing sport sessions with younger refugees would be helpful.
6. Provide a presence in Calais over 2-3 weeks in the summer holidays to act as a contact for members who would like to volunteer individually. It must be stressed that this would be unofficial activism as oppose to being part of a UCU delegation.
If you can help with any of of this contact:
Dave Muritu, firstname.lastname@example.org
Head office will be coordinating points 1 – 5 but it would be really useful to initially identify a core group of activists to provide the presence in Calais as outlined in point 6.
Ultimately this is a political project aimed at providing solidarity to the refugees and bringing their stories back to our work places and wider society. As an education union we should be at the forefront of defending refugees and opposing racism. We stand for safe and welcoming educational spaces and for education and learning as the solution to ignorance and hatred.