On Thursday we were delighted to welcome Old Dolphin, Izzy Hughes (Class of 2016), founder of The Refugee Rights Project, to talk to our Year 9 students about the plight of refugees and to challenge some of the common thinking and stereotypes that they may have formed as a result of misinformation and misunderstanding.
Izzy talked about the plight of refugees and how many of them have been displaced by conflict and are unable to escape their homelands through the usual channels and so are forced to resort to dangerous escape routes often in the hands of dangerous people. Izzy explained that ‘every minute thirty people are displaced and forced to flee their homes’. And yet many refugees are then demonised rather than protected when they reach a country of safety.
Izzy acknowledged that it is very difficult for young people who live in a safe country and are never going to be a refugee, to know how to help, but she recommended that our students can have an impact and be agents of change by learning and educating themselves about the facts and by challenging misconceptions and sharing their knowledge with friends and family. Our Year 9 students then got together in groups and were joined by members of the Social Impact Committee to start discussions on how they can take these ideas forward. The Social Impact Committee will be running workshops with the Year 9 students over the next few months to set up projects to educate and reshape our attitudes to refugees and to find ways to make a difference.
We are tremendously grateful to Izzy who took time out from studying for her MSc in International Migration and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) to inspire and share her knowledge with us.