For my generation (just turned 30’s) we had school assemblies on the Ethiopian famine. Turns out that this generation of kids are fundraising for the Syrian children currently living in refugee camps. The entire St. Mary’s Church of England School attended a service at St. Mary’s Church (Upper Street) yesterday to complete a weeklong fundraising effort. Rather than collecting dried lentils, like I did in the 80’s, they are sending 1,000 packs of pencils and paper for the children to use in a make-shift school that has been set up in the camp. It was beyond adorable to watch these primary school kids read out the prayers they had written for children struggling across the world. “Please stop the wars so that the children can go home,” read one. Assistant Minister Alexandra Lilley asked the children to close their eyes and imagine a version of themselves, with the exact same family, likes and dislikes but in a place with no electricity, comfort, warmth, security or familiarity. I sneaked a peak at the kid’s faces while she said this, noticing those who were fiddling with their clothes or noses but also that the majority had their eyes tightly scrunched closed.
In related news: HUB Islington member Ummul Choudhury from Bidna Capoiera will be leaving to Palestine in two weeks to their new office in Ramallah. They will be working with over 620 vulnerable children and youth who live in refugee camps, near the separation barrier or have been affected by the ongoing settlement activity. The capoeira trainers and a professional counsellor offer a safe space to play and learn for extremely vulnerable young people. To find out more about their project: www.bidnacapoeira.org