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A values-driven initative that builds empathy for the plight of refugees, opens up conversations of curiosity and grows a better understanding of our changing communities.

Since 2016 St Ethelburga’s has been taking groups to volunteer in refugee camps in Greece and France.  Over a week, volunteers work hard for a front-line organisation coming face to face with the reality of life for those who have been forcibly displaced from their homeland due to war, abject poverty or the climate crisis and who seek refuge in Europe. Volunteers get to meet some of the families, children, adults and grand-parents who have fled, bear witness to both their suffering and their resilience, to the brutality of the situation in which they live and the generosity and kindness of the organisations working to support them.  When volunteers return to the UK, they give powerful talks to their community amplifying the voices of those they have met, sharing their own experiences and hosting conversations where their audience can ask questions and grow in understanding.

The numbers of those forcibly displaced across the world is a staggering 70.8 million.  The numbers rise every day and will swell further as the climate crisis floods coastal areas and expands infertile drylands. Our communities are changing, and our understanding, and fears, of those who are unfamiliar and different, threaten the stability of our neighbourhoods unless we take up the invitation to build empathy across borders and community across differences.

This workshop can be delivered as a stand-alone workshop or be tailored to a mythbusting talk :

  • Values underpinning refugee allyship.
  • Best practice in ethical volunteering.
  • Shadow dynamics in humanitarian work.
  • Leadership skills and preparing volunteers.
  • Practical considerations and partnerships with front-line organisations.
  • Skills for sharing stories and inspiring others to action in communities.

This training can be tailored to suit a variety of contexts.  We can adapt this offering to give:

  • A train-the-trainer workshop on our model of volunteering and sharing stories in the community.
  • Skills training and consultancy of adapting our model to suit your organisational or institutional context.
  • A mythbusting talk on what we have seen and learned from participants, organisations and refugees.

If you are interested to book this workshop or talk please email jowinsloe@stethelburgas.org