Fooda, learner at the USW-led English language lessons for refugees: Image by Veronika Merkova, Photojournalism graduate
The theme for this year is Imagine! and USW is participating by organising a series of virtual events that draw attention to the experience and contribution of refugees in Wales.
During the week, four distinct online activities will reveal how the University of South Wales supports and promotes the well-being of refugees through its research focus, Sanctuary Scheme and community collaborations.
The events also aim to educate and inform participants about Human Rights, Race Relations and the reality of finding yourself to be a refugee in a foreign country. If you have any questions about any of the projects listed here, please contact Dr Mike Chick, USW Refugee Champion.
Dr Mike Chick and Syrian-born Engineering student Tarek Zou Alghena
Researchers Dr Cath Camps and Dr Mike Chick will discuss how the University of South Wales came to be recognised as a University of Sanctuary and the role the USW Sanctuary group now plays in our University’s activities.
They will describe how the University’s impressive Sanctuary Scheme works and how various other ventures and initiatives are helping people displaced by war or persecution. Finally, the talk will illustrate how being able to study at USW has directly affected refugees’ lives.
Our research partner the Welsh Refugee Council will be hosting a “fun-filled” quiz on the rights of migrants in Wales. Aiming to inform participants about Human Rights, the event will also bring to light the reality of what seeking refuge in Wales is really like.
Naomi Preston, a USW researcher, will be talking to Hamed Amiri, a young man who arrived in Cardiff as a child refugee. Hamed, a USW graduate, will be discussing his book “A boy with two hearts” which is featured on Radio 4’s “Book of the Week”, later in June.
Fooda and Nerys were partnered for the five weeks of the Speak to Me project. Since it ended they have kept in touch and Nerys and her family visited Fooda’s home for dinner
In January and February 2020, resettled Syrian and Sudanese refugees were partnered with local English speakers to work together in a series of creative writing and speaking workshops in which they responded to prompts about celebration, food and friendship. The partnership approach created an atmosphere of collaboration and confidence as the refugees were encouraged to use English in a creative and expressive way. The project set out to aid language acquisition, but it also exemplified how integration is a two-way process.
USW researcher Steve Johnson speaks to Barrie Llewelyn, the English researcher who led the project. This event includes a collage of photos, video and the sounds of the refugees and their partners in conversations. You can see the virtual Speak to Me exhibition on our gallery website.