Pupils Star in Refugee DVD

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Pupils from St Paul’s Primary School in Whiteinch and a former pupil of Drumchapel High have starring roles in a new DVD aimed at easing the integration of refugee and asylum seeking children into Glasgow schools. Called Shared Futures, the DVD comes with a resource pack and retails at £20. The project was developed by London based charity Salusbury WORLD and showcases initiatives from across the UK, including two in Glasgow, that are helping to make it easier for new arrivals to settle into schools and local communities. Currently there are more than 100,000 children in the UK seeking sanctuary.

At a launch in Glasgow City Chambers, Margaret Doran, Executive Director for Education and Social Work Services, introduced the DVD to 200 people including staff from schools and community projects.

Primary six and seven pupils, Kerry Jenkins, Christian Zihalirwa, Sharon Jakisa and Henock Ngonde from St Paul’s demonstrate in the DVD how they work with their parents in school. One project which lasted for ten weeks involved pupils and parents creating an enterprising puppet show.

Eleven year-old pupil Christian came to Scotland with his mum and two brothers from the Congo in 2005. He said: ‘I have found it really easy to make friends at my school.’ Through an interest in football he is now the school football team’s top goal scorer.

Jane Fellowes, English as Another Language (EAL) teacher at the school, also features in the DVD. She said: ‘Children don’t learn in isolation. We have become creative in the school and in the work with parents.’

Amal Azzudin is a member of the Glasgow Girls, a campaigning group of young women who passionately stand up for the rights of asylum seekers. As a former pupil of Drumchapel High School she is now active in highlighting dawn raids undertaken by immigration officers and this features on the DVD.

Amal, who came to the UK from Somalia in 2000, said: ‘I find the communities in Glasgow very welcoming and helpful towards asylum seekers. I didn’t find London as welcoming.’

Comic Relief funded the DVD. Those featured in the nine short films are mostly young asylum seekers. The pack is available to anyone working with refugees and not exclusively to those in schools. Email: mail@salusburyworld.org.uk and website: www.salusburyworld.org.uk

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