Ten ways students can help refugees in Leicester


Staff and students have pledged to use their talents and compassion to help those most vulnerable in Leicester and around the world as part of the United Nations’ Together campaign.

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been asked to take a global lead on engaging universities around the world to share ideas and projects which help and support migrant families through the United Nations Together Campaign.


Today (Weds Jan 31), the team at #DMUlocal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard met with scores of students who wanted to find out how they could offer practical support to the campaign.

#DMUlocal has put together a list of 10 ways which students can give their time to programmes across the city and the campus which support refugees and their families. They are:

•    Interviewing refugees and their families for the Share My Story project, which will create an oral history archive of the different experiences of Leicester’s refugees
•    Supporting DMU’s Syria Day on campus – 32 families from Leicester’s newest community are being invited onto campus for the day
•    Nurturing new talent by volunteering at #DMUlocal’s refugee art club
•    Fundraising to support refugee scholars at DMU
•    Mentoring – to  provide educational support for young people who arrived in the UK
•    Join a DMU conference to discuss refugee and people trafficking issues on May 18
•    Suggesting a pitch for a project to the #DMUlocal team
•    Volunteering at a new Get Together café being run by #DMUlocal
•    Be a sports mentor or help create new sporting activities in Leicester
•    Becoming a music mentor

Mark Charlton, Head of Public Engagement at DMU, said: "We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and support from DMU students and staff who were inspired by the event at the United Nations.

"We hope that by hearing more about the projects we’re involved in – and suggesting new ones which they can get involved in – that we can get even more students and staff to help support the way we help refugees in Leicester and how they can get involved on the ground.”

After 18 projects
DMU students volunteer with projects such as After 18, which helps unaccompanied child refugees

At the packed event, Professor Dominic Shellard outlined the plans to support the UN's campaign, and the ways in which students and staff could take part. Afterwards, students indicated which projects they would like to take part in and spoke of the importance of getting involved.

Heena Nazir, Medical Science, said: "I want to get involved in projects which will help the community, which help them in their daily lives."

Ebyan Abdullahi has just finished an MSc International Relations and her research focused on refugees and their experiences in Leicester. She said: "I am really excited by the opportunities to help and make a difference to people's lives."

Anna Aldersley, of DMU Sport, said: "I think getting involved in community cafes, meeting people and seeing what they need, how we can help... it's what we should all do."

DMU’s mass #DMUglobal trips to New York and Berlin also include opportunities for students to volunteer to work with partner universities on their own refugee programmes.

* DMU hosts universities from around the world at the United Nations
* Student  ZamZam tells her story at the UN headquarters in New York
* Students volunteer to help Leicester refugees

Last week, DMU was made a member of the United Nations' Academic Impact (UNAI) programme – one of the world's largest higher education networks. The UNAI, which has more than 1,000 members, aligns higher education institutions with the goals and mandates pursued by the UN. These include promotion and protection of human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution.

Posted on Wednesday 31st January 2018

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