STAR - Student Action for Refugees
Welcome to Cardiff STARs page - thanks for looking us up! We hope you can find all the information you are looking for here, but if not, check out our facebook and web page.
What is STAR?
In a nutshell - STAR is a student network, running in 38 universities spread across the whole of the UK, whose aim is to try and improve the lives of refugees and asylum seekers seeking a safer home here in the UK. We try to do this in a number of ways - by challenging preconceptions of refugees and asylum seekers, campaigning and volunteering.
But what do we do here in Cardiff?
Weekly English Conversation club
The main activity Cardiff STAR run is the weekly drop in, held at the Trinity Centre on Newport Road, every WEDNESDAY from 5.30-7.30pm. Here we run conversational English classes for asylum seekers and refugees, as well as hanging out all together in a relaxed environment, enjoying a cup of tea and the occasional game of pool. This runs from 6 to 7 every week within our drop in service. Its a great place to teach English in a very informal environment as well as a chance to get to know asylum seekers and refugees who have come to Cardiff.
We also hold an annual Refugee Rhythms, the highlight of the STAR calendar, which is a celebration for STAR and the community we are a part of. We have local and international bands to perform, a feast of food from all over the world and hundreds of students, asylum seekers and refugees attend. Last years event was attended by over 500 people and won the Cardiff Univeristy award for 'Best Large Event''. This year's event takes place on Thursday 23rd February and we're looking for a lot of people to help organise it. So please get in touch if you'd like to be part of it.
Wales Equal Access Working Group
Equal Access is a national campaign to ensure that people in the UK seeking refugee protection have equal access to higher education and can join us at university as equals. This includes campaigning for equal fees, access, and support.
Cardiff STAR have launched a Wales Equal Access Working Group, comprised of other organisations in Wales such as NUS Wales, Hope not Hate, and the Welsh Refugee Council. We aim to make Wales the first Nation to have all universities equal access accredited. We are currently working with Cardiff, Cardiff Met, USW, Swansea, and Aberystwyth universities.
It's worth noting, there are currently students studying at Cardiff as a direct change in Cardiff University's policy. We also need to get more people on board with the campaign so please get in touch if you'd like to be part of it.
Framing Identity Social Media campaign
We've recently launched a social media project called 'Framing Identity' we will provide a platform in which asylum seekers, refugees, and volunteers can tell a story or put forward a message. It will provide an accurate account and representation of people living in Cardiff and also raise awareness of the importance of various campaigns and volunteering projects within STAR. Follow @STARCardiff on Instagram for fortnightly updates.
SO much more
We also run various events, including: falafel stalls to raise money, trips to the beach, community Peace Feasts, film screenings, English teacher training sessions, storytelling and spoken word evenings.
Do you have to be qualified in teaching English to start STAR?
Absolutely not! We are all students, many of whom have never taught English before. The aim of the classes is to give refugees and asylum seekers a chance to practice their English in a relaxed and informal setting. For that reason, our sessions are run as a conversation club and not heavily structured lessons so refugees and asylum seekers get the chance to talk and pratice their English freely. However we do run training sessions each term to give you a few tips and hints to help you along your way and there are two students overseeing the sessions each week, and putting together helpful resources and plans for topic based discussions, who can help at any point.
How can I get involved?
Check out our Facebook page - on there, we post any events coming up and the directions to drop in. There is normally a group of us walking down every Wednesday from the union to drop in around 5.30. So come along!
STAR is such a great way to get involved in the local community - we really hope to see you soon!
Much STAR love,
The Committee 2016 -2017
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