Mary Erskine and Stewart’s Melville Junior School get in on the act for Refugee Week Scotland

The Mary Erskine and Stewart’s Melville Junior School children get in on the act for Refugee Week Scotland

Pupils at The Mary Erskine and Stewart’s Melville Junior School will be carrying out 43 Simple Acts, one in each class from Primary 1 to Primary 7, to increase their understanding of refugees and asylum seekers for this year’s Refugee Week Scotland.

The Simple Acts campaign aims to inspire people to use small, everyday actions as a way to change perceptions of refugees and asylum seekers. It is one of a number of activities taking place around Refugee Week Scotland, which kicks off next week on June 14. See more at www.refugeeweekscotland.com

Schools around Edinburgh are urged to join in by carrying out a simple action that will help to build understanding about refugees.  These actions include sharing a story from a different culture, or learning a few words in another language. 

Mr Bryan Lewis, Headmaster of the school, said: ‘We believe that it is very important for all our children to understand what life is like for refugee children and their families who have to leave their homes to live in a strange and very different land. 

‘Girls and boys are not able to solve problems caused by adults but, if we can help them to develop an understanding of the personal experiences and problems faced by refugees, then they are more likely to grow up as adults who will care about those who are less fortunate than they are.’

Belinda McElhinney, Refugee Week Scotland coordinator, said: ‘Simple Acts are taking place all around the UK for Refugee Week. They are a great way for anyone to do their bit and think more about why refugees come to our country.’

Refugee organisations across the UK are inviting the public to carry out a Simple Act for Refugee Week, which takes place between 14 and 20 June.

There are over 100 events taking place at venues across Scotland as part of Refugee Week Scotland. These include film-screenings, exhibitions, theatre and musical events. You can find out more at www.refugeeweekscotland.com

For more details contact Clare Harris or Karin Goodwin on 0141 223 7927, or 07734 030763. Email media@scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk

 

Notes to Editors

Refugee Week Scotland is co-ordinated by Scottish Refugee Council, an independent charity dedicated to providing advice, information and assistance to asylum seekers and refugees living in Scotland. www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk

Refugee Week  is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities. Refugee Week 2010 will take place from June 14 to 20.

 

The purpose of Refugee Week is to deliver positive educational messages that counter fear, ignorance and negative stereotypes of refugees, through arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and promote understanding about the reasons why people seek sanctuary.

 

Refugee Week was first held in 1998, and was created in response to the increasingly negative perceptions of refugees and asylum seekers held by the general public in Britain. It remains the only UK-wide event that promotes the importance of sanctuary and the benefits it can bring to both refugees and host communities.

 

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