The SU

Bath STAR giving refugee children a helping hand

Bath STAR giving refugee children a helping hand

Student group Bath STARs (Student Action for Refugees) are supporting local children from refugee backgrounds in a weekly homework club.

Bath STAR's project, which has been in the planning stages since February this year, is a collaboration with the partner organisation Bath Welcomes Refugees, who have supported the enterprise and are recommending it to families in the area.

It is open to 9 to 16 year olds, and volunteers give them homework and academic support once a week at the homework club. We talked to Leen Jabban, who is studying for a PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, to find out more.

Why did you decide to create this club?

We hoped that the club would be able to support children from refugee backgrounds with the subjects their parents cannot help with, and make it easier for them to get the grades they need to go to University. We also think that the age difference between us and them might lead to them engaging with us and potentially see us as role models. 

How did you go about it?

We could not have started the homework club without the help of Bath Welcomes Refugees, a charity in town. We have a volunteering agreement with them and they supported us in choosing the volunteers, giving us training, and communicating with the families in Bath to encourage them to bring their children to the homework club.

The club has been running for two weeks now: do you have any thoughts on your experience so far?

Things are moving faster than I expected! In only two weeks, we already have 7 children coming. We were very thrilled as we expected it to take longer to pick up. The children seem to enjoy working with the volunteeers and the parents are sending us good feedback about the club. It honestly feels so great.

How can we get involved?

All the volunteer places for this project have been filled, but we are running other activities to support those from refugee backgrounds here in Bath and would love more students to join us, so visit our Bath STAR web page and find out how you can help.