A sanctuary in Bradford is welcoming schools wanting to sign up for its open-arms scheme.
Sanctuary In Schools is celebrating recruiting its first two schools to take part and getting sponsorship from Bradford University.
The project, which has a part-time worker, got £10,000 of funding to get it off the ground from grant-giving organisations Two 28 and Nearer Neighbours and the University will produce the award certificates.
So far Carlton Bolling College in Undercliffe and St Joseph’s Catholic Girls College in Manningham have joined in and will have a joint signing-up ceremony later this month. The project’s development worker Mary Blacka said Sanctuary In Schools is new to Bradford but an extension of the the district’s City of Sanctuary status.
In November last year, caring initiative City of Sanctuary celebrated having 150 organisations under its umbrella with a festival of drumming, food, poetry and harmony marking its goal is to provide help for asylum seekers and refugees who have arrived in Bradford after seeking safety in Britain To get the new award mark, schools will have to show what they have done to make welcome, make safe and include asylum seeker and refugee children as part of its curriculum and daily life – and they have to share it with the community.
Bradford Action For Refugees will be running Myth Buster sessions in schools based around why asylum seekers come to the UK and their experiences and Shipley-based Zephaniah Trust is another partner in the scheme with its Refugee Voices drama project.
Schools will been encouraged to invite people from their area as well as feeder or partner schools to join them for performances as well as share resources and lesson plans.
Although half of the Sanctuary project’s funding is to get schools in the Girlington and Manningham areas signed up, it is open to all schools from all cultural backgrounds.
Mary Blacka said: “It’s not just for schools who have asylum seeker and refugee children – it’s for everyone. It’s about understanding and becoming aware of what it must be like to come to a new country not speaking the language and starting at a school – it’s totally bewildering which is why it’s so important these children are made welcome and feel safe and included.”
Bradford will be the third city to have Schools in Sanctuary, following Leeds and Bristol.
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