The issue

Refugees and asylum-seekers children may arrive in Britain traumatised and disorientated, having been forced to leave their own countries for reasons such as war, persecution and torture. They will often have been separated from other family members. According to New Plan for Immigration Policy Paper-recent government report published in March 2021-, The UK has 109,000 outstanding asylum cases. In 2019 alone, the UK received 36,000 new claims, a 21% increase from the previous year. Most of these cases involve dependent vulnerable children who require special assistance on emotional and educational level. The UK also received over 3,000 claims from unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, more than any other European country. Adding to this figure, the previous years’ data shows that the numbers of asylum-seeking and refugee children have increased dramatically, especially from countries such as Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. Local authorities with particularly high numbers of refugee children include Barnet, Brent, Camden, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Hounslow, Islington. Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Westminster, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham.

Asylum seeking and refugee children are a vulnerable group who may experience emotional or mental health problems, discrimination and racism. Many refugees have come from unstable social situations. They may have high levels of anxiety or emotional distress due to the trauma of leaving their home country and their initial experiences of the host country. Some asylum-seeking and refugee children may exhibit behaviour that can be related to their recent experiences. These behaviours can be disruptive, emotional, social or learning-related. 

Asylum seeking and refugee children who arrive in the UK with an interrupted primary education is among the most educationally vulnerable. As well as being in a strange country, children with interrupted education may feel frustrated or inadequate because of their inability to read, write or complete other tasks, their lack of opportunity to handle, choose and read books, and be unfamiliar with the classroom equipment and furniture. Although every child under 18 has an entitlement to access education or training in the UK, asylum-seeking and refugee children often have an interrupted education. Some will have never attended formal education or have limited literacy in their first language. Some will have education, but they will need rapid intervention to learn to read and write in English. Besides, it takes 3 months to 2 years to settle in a permanent location, and during the temporary accommodation, there can be frequent moves which also include change of schools in the process. On top of that the time they lost during the journey to arrive in the UK worsen their situation and children educational attainment become an issue. 

We forecast that the inequalities related to their backgrounds get wider in time, and there will be a long-term impact on employability and social standing as noted in various academic and government research. Many asylum-seeking and refugee children may lose their daily routine and sense of responsibility for learning and personal development due to instability and lack of guided teaching during the process. Unfortunately, children may have been left uneducated and unmotivated as they could not sign up for tuition and well-being workshops, like many other families with financial means.

Axis Educational Trust is aware of the issues that what refugee and asylum-seeking children are likely to be experiencing on arrival in the UK, especially their education gap due to poverty, language barrier, and change of learning environment with frequent moves between temporary accommodation. To address these issues, we started the “Refugee Children Support” program, which include free English and Math tuition, social, sport and mentoring activities, as well as mental health support.

Our Project

Closing the education gap is a long process and for the best chance of succeeding, we need to address the problem in as many ways as possible. Accordingly, we provide a number of types of activities to refugee and asylum-seeking children. Our primary and guiding principles for this program are;
▸ To provide a safe and supportive environment for a refugee or asylum-seeking children, both physically and emotionally.

▸ To make sure that each asylum-seeking and refugee child are happy, supported every step of the way into education.

▸ To improve their access to education, especially the ones with language barriers.

▸ To ensure asylum-seeking and refugee children can access education, training and mentorship

▸ To help develop their knowledge, confidence and resilience.
In rough order of urgency, the activities we are going to offer them are as follows:

Art and drama Activities

We will offer free Art and drama sessions to enable children to express themselves and develop an understanding of complex events and feelings. We will train our volunteers to use art with asylum-seeking and refugee children in ways that help them settle. We will provide dynamic, weekly, small-group drama session for vulnerable asylum seeker and refugee children. Through role-play and games, they experimented with concepts of control, trust, collaboration and choices. We expect that children will improve their confidence and self-esteem, and they will be able to focus on their learning and become more included and engaged with their peers.

Holiday and Sports Activities

It is a widely acknowledged fact that playing sports and participating in extracurricular activities increase children's confidence, motivation, and resilience. This is why we are running sports, arts and science activities for children during school holidays. These activities are beneficial for the individuals and are also instrumental in bringing people together and building strong relationships within the community as it includes enrichment activities such as museum visits, sports activities, and meeting other young people in the community.

Community Support

For many asylum seekers and refugee, isolation and lack of support are significant risk factors. We will ensure that children and families have access to social and community support through our local community partners.

English and Maths Tuition

We will have supplementary education classes that aim to bring stability and structure to the children's lives as well as help them learn about life in the UK. We will provide English as a Second Language and Maths classes to improve their skills and confidence as they wait for places in mainstream education or improving their grades if they are already in education. They will receive tuition for English and Maths based on their individual needs. We offer blended teaching in our study centres in Enfield, Finchley, Waltham Forest, Croydon, Colindale as well as online. Our lessons are delivered by DBS checked, qualified teachers. The course curriculum is designed to focus on short-term achievable targets to build a growth mindset and exam skills to boost confidence and results.

Mentoring and Social Activities

Our mentoring program will help asylum-seeking and refugee children to learn with peers, joining group workshops and engaging in social activities helps them to make friends, reduce their sense of isolation, and feel supported and hopeful for the future. Our mentors will provide activity-based sessions that are designed to give them practical tools to address challenges they face, as well as a sense of achievement. For example, we will teach them a range of coping tools to help manage stress. They will have better communication skills and the ability to cope with stress and other demands of daily life as a refugee child. Specifically, we will assign each child a mentor that ensures that a child can begin to establish a close and trusting relationship with one person. This is particularly important for refugee children who may have lost many significant adults in their lives. With the help of our volunteers, we will also run weekly creative workshops. These include sessions where children play musical instruments, sing together, perform some arts, and practice their English with their peers. Opportunities for art, music and drama are particularly important for refugee children as they encourage self-expression. They will meet other young people, make new friends from various backgrounds and cultures, and develop their skills and confidence. We will provide university students as mentors to our younger participants. The mentors act as role models and supporting buddies. This is a unique input that will help develop social and academic confidence, communication, study and personal skills, a sense of direction and resilience. We will organise social activities to improve the mentoring scheme's participants' social engagement with each other. This element of the project will reduce low attendance, drop-offs, and low attainment rates for our participants whilst increasing their motivation to improve themselves.


A small number of asylum-seeking and refugee children will need more intervention. We will offer individual or group counselling to children who have suffered abuse or stressful experiences, usually facilitated by experienced counsellors who have obtained counselling qualifications or by other professionals we have contact with. Overall, Axis's "Change my destiny" program aims to unlock the potential of each and every asylum-seeking and refugee child, so they grow up to have fulfilling and meaningful lives.

The request

We ask for your help and be a sponsor for asylum-seeking and refugee child this Ramadan. 

Become their sponsor and personally oversee their educational progress. 

A donation of £900 will help us provide free educational and social activities to an asylum-seeking and refugee child for one year. Your donation will be used to support teaching costs, activity running fees and materials needed for our “Change my destiny” program.

For 27 years, education has been at the heart of what we do. With your support, we can give asylum-seeking and refugee children all over the UK access to education. Please give generously to continue extending and increasing our charity work in Ramadan to help more asylum-seeking and refugee children.