In this blog, as part of our In The Spotlight week, Dr Jonathan Barnes describes the project he leads with his charity, Education 4 Diversity. A project that brings school children and refugees together to offer support and mutual learning that also informs the curriculum and creates a deep sense of community.
As the threat of Covid slightly diminishes, Education4 Diversity (E4D) is beginning negotiations to restart its Integration of Young Refugees within UK Communities Project funded by The Naznin Coker Foundation, in The Langton Boys Grammar School, Canterbury, Kent and the Canterbury Academy.
The project ran a very successful pilot project in Gravesend Grammar school, which after a year was taken over by the sixth form of the school and ran until March 2020 – soon, we hope, to be restarted.
The project is simple and remarkably effective. On a weekly basis, school students host a group of 8 -12 local unaccompanied minors (refugee young people under 18, living under UK protection but without family or other legal guardian) for afternoon arts and sports activities. E4D provides curriculum and diversity training for all school staff, background instruction and mentoring for school students and provides continued mentoring an