You are viewing blog items for February 2016.
posted by: Jemma Levene | on: Friday, 26 February 2016, 09:58
I’ve just been sifting through some of the nominations we have already received for our International Women’s Day Community Champions, and I’m so excited, and moved, by the insights into the phenomenal Contributions women are making in communities.
This project is all about celebrating the women who bring HOPE to their communities, and I can’t wait to share the results on March 8th.
We have nominations from all over England, Scotland and Wales – I started making a list of the places where women are making a difference in their communities, and I quite literally ran out of space on the page.
The range of issues these women are involved in is truly humbling, be it women’s centres, homeless projects, refugee and asylum work, disabled people’s rights, education, mental health, challenging gang culture, health services, hate crime, youth work, interfaith, senior citizens, foodbanks, or domestic abuse.
We know there are so many men who are unsung heroes, out there working tirelessly to make change, and we wish we could acknowledge them all. International Women's day, however, is a great opportunity to focus on on women, and to celebrate their contribution.
Nominations close on Tuesday 1 March, so if you know a woman or group of women who are making our communities better places for everyone, why not nominate them for recognition as a HOPE not hate international women's day community champion?
Posted: 26 Feb 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Tom | on: Thursday, 18 February 2016, 08:07
Sometimes we need to look at the younger generation for guidance.
The HOPE not hate team provide speakers for schools and colleges for all the issues we’re involved in. This includes giving children an understanding of the challenges refugees face in the UK, and ways we can make our homes a place of welcome for people seeking sanctuary.
At the end of our workshops in South Wales recently we’ve been asking kids to write down messages of support or advice to asylum seekers arriving in the country. These messages have been passed on by volunteers to asylum seekers arriving in Cardiff, the main area of dispersal for people sent to Wales.
Despite the many challenges facing people as they seek sanctuary in the UK, words of welcome cannot be underestimated. Issa Farfour, a local Syrian refugee, was prompted to write a message back to the children at Cardiff High School:
"Thank you from all my heart... The words cannot express what your messages mean to me".
Words of welcome mean more than you think. Have a look below to see some of our favourites.
The HOPE not hate team provide speakers to schools and colleges on all the issues we are involved in. Please contact us on [email protected] to find out more.
Posted: 18 Feb 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Tom | on: Friday, 12 February 2016, 10:09
Last year HOPE not hate helped thousands of young people back on to the electoral register in Cardiff. This year National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) came in the same week as news that 800,000 people had fallen off the electoral register with students in University towns most likely to be disenfranchised following the government’s speedy transition to a new system of Individual Voter Registration.
Luckily, in Cardiff, we have a network of volunteers who are ready to step up to the challenge. We began at Cardiff and Vale College in Butetown, where we came together with Citizens UK to get students 16+ registered to vote. For many this was their first experience of democracy.
For many this was their first experience of voting. Many were surprised to hear that they were able to register. “I can’t I’m from Europe” and “I can’t I’m not 18 yet” were two common responses. Anyone who is both over 16 years old and either a British, Commonwealth, or EU citizens can register to vote.
As the volunteers did their bit at the college, the second voter registration drive of the day began at Cardiff University. Around 15,000 students fell off the electoral register last year in the Cathays area of Cardiff Central alone. The voter registration campaign last year helped around 5000 people back on.
With the Welsh Assembly Elections on the horizon, Cardiff HOPE not hate students are running weekly doorknocking sessions in the student community, getting students registered to vote. For NVRD they were on campus, with forms provided by Cardiff Council, going to student areas across the campus and registering them to vote.
HOPE not hate volunteers are running weekly VR sessions in Cardiff Central and Cardiff South ahead of the Welsh Assembly Elections on May 7th. These are taking place every Monday and Friday. If you live in the area and would like to get involved, please email [email protected]
Posted: 12 Feb 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Owen Jones | on: Wednesday, 3 February 2016, 15:03
The lack of opportunities to experience or get involved with different cultures can often breed serious ignorance, which can lead to harmful prejudice if left unchecked. HOPE not hate is all too aware of this and was delighted to be able to team up with Ringwood School in Hampshire to get involved with their Cultural Exchange.
For decades charities, the public sector, trade unions and many others have worked very hard in cities and urban areas up and down the country trying to improve relations between different ethics groups. Although we have some fantastic shining examples in urban areas such as Leicester, Cardiff and Brighton, it can sometimes feel as if rural Britain has been left behind.
The Cultural Exchange is where a group of Year 10 students from the market town of Ringwood went to visit the extremely diverse Cantell School in Southampton, where there were students from all sorts of cultural and religious backgrounds, speaking a number of different languages, a total contrast to Ringwood.
On the return of the year 10’s to Ringwood, the students reported back to the rest of their year groups on what life was like a Cantell and how diversity worked in Southampton. HOPE not hate finished the assembly off with educating the dangers of allowing the far-right to have a voice in their community (for these students this was mostly through social media rather than the physical community). Using Castle & Priory in Dudley as a case study, HOPE not hate explored the extreme consequences of the scapegoating of refugees back in 2003 and how this not only normalises racist opinions but also prevents the local political agenda from addressing the real issues in a community.
The day finished with a student from Cantell visiting each Year 10 tutor group, where the Ringwood students were allowed the opportunity to ask questions. It was a great chance for the Ringwood students to hear about the experiences of migrant children in Britain first-hand, rather than relying on newspapers or social media offering often a distorted picture of these communities.
HOPE not hate is expanding its work in schools to try and get real and honest discussions about diversity in the UK today. If you want to learn more, please contact [email protected]
Posted: 3 Feb 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: John Page | on: Tuesday, 2 February 2016, 22:42
When Pegida UK, the latest anti-Muslim street movement initiated by Steven Lennon (who calls himself Tommy Robinson) chose Birmingham as their launch event this Saturday, they really did choose the wrong city.
Like many other places, Birmingham’s communities are under pressure, but when hate threatened to make their city its home, they chose to respond with a display of unity and HOPE.
Over 600 people pledged to drink a cup of tea together with someone from another community. Over 70 community leaders came together, from faith, arts, trade union, business, community and political backgrounds and signed a unity declaration; in doing so they chose hope.
This Friday, Birmingham Central Mosque will be the location of a unity event, with representatives of the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim communities coming together (alongside local trade union, community, arts, business and political leaders) to discuss how Birmingham’s communities can work together to address the challenges they face.
I think it is fair to say, that rather than create division, suspicion and hatred, Pegida have simply prompted the communities of Birmingham to create even more unity, confidence and HOPE.
If you would like to join us on Friday, sign up here. http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/together-birmingham
Posted: 2 Feb 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments