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.
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.