There’s a club night to raise money for refugees tonight
‘Each person has their own story, they have so much to offer our society and are people just like us.’
Tonight at Fabios, Durham for Refugees and the Arc and Signal teams are coming together with to host Records for Refugees to raise money for Care4Calais.
We caught up with Beth from Durham for Refugees to find out more about the issue at hand and how the event expects to raise awareness for such a pressing cause amongst the students of Durham.
What does Durham for Refugees do?
Durham for Refugees is a group of students aiming to help refugees throughout their difficult journey to safety. We have four aims: Campaigning for more safe and legal ways for refugees to be accepted in the UK, fundraising to help charities on the ground improve conditions in refugee camps, aid trips taking students to camps to help give out donations and teach English, and helping refugees and asylum seekers settle in the local area.
Why did you choose Care4Calais?
Having volunteered with Care4Calais during three student aid trips in the summer, we knew first-hand the good work that they do. Following the destruction of the “Jungle” the charity are now working to help refugees dispersed around France.
Although not shown much in the media, this is a desperate situation: refugees have been rushed to under-equipped CAO centres and some, including unaccompanied minors are still not registered and are sleeping rough on the streets of Paris. Care4Calais are working extremely hard to distribute vital aid to all refugees in France, now a greater and more costly task given the widespread dispersal of refugees.
Do you think Brexit has impacted the refugee crisis?
As well as the logistical and legal implications, Brexit seems to have changed people’s attitudes towards refugees. There have been increases in racism and xenophobia since the referendum, leading refugees who have made it to safety to feel unwelcome and even scared in their new homes. That’s why one of Durham for Refugees’ aims is to make refugees feel settled through befriending schemes and joint events with Durham students and refugees.
Is the word refugee counterproductive?
The term “refugee” is correct and useful to use to describe a person who is forced to leave their country to seek safety from war, persecution or natural disaster, however, I do think there is a danger of forgetting that refugees are also people. In Calais we met so many unique and talented individuals including doctors and engineers, as well as, students like ourselves.
Grouping these wonderful people as simply “refugees” may stop us treating them like people: instead, many think of them as numbers and statistics, “a burden on society”, or as different to them. In fact, each person has their own story, they have so much to offer our society and are people just like us. They’ve been through unimaginable horrors in their home country, and trying to make their journey to safety a little bit easier is the least we can do.p
What inspired you to hold Records for Refugees?
2016 won’t be remembered for its sense of solidarity, and there’s an ever-growing sense of division within our society. We wanted to build on the cohesive community principles that our collaborations have been about and felt compelled to throw an event to bring people together to contribute financially to the crisis.
The Signal and Arc boys are promising a late night of wonderful records to help create an atmosphere of community and open mindedness. With all profits from the night going straight to Care4Calais, you can dance the night away for an extremely good cause.
If you are interested in getting involved them visit the Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @DurhamRefugees.