Friday, 25 January 2008

Educating Refugees

There's an article in FT today on the disruption of refugee children's education, and how their education (or lack thereof) is used as a weapon against the parents. It's a real rock-and-hardplace to have to choose between actual threat of physical harm, and the loss of your children's longterm social and educational wellbeing.

This is what upsets me about Comfort Adefowoju (see earlier post) and her children having been taken out of a community where they were thriving and contributing, to be banged up in Yarls Wood detention centre, and repeatedly brought to the brink of repatriation to an unliveable situation in Nigeria.

I can see that on the scale of what refugees worldwide have to face, they are at least fed and watered and relatively safe in the meantime... but these are the ones we can do something about (if the government will only listen) A bit like the thousands of starfish all washed up on the seashore after a storm. The child picking them up and throwing them back in the water may not be able to save them all, but she makes a difference to each one, one by one.

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