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The Destitution Launch and what we’re going to do about it October 7, 2012

Posted by starglasgow in Uncategorized.
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The new semester is well underway here at STAR Glasgow and we’re all very excited about the next month of meetings and events that we’ve got planned. We’ll be focusing on the issue of destitution, in the run up to our sleepout at the beginning of November. Each week for the next four weeks, our meetings will be looking at this issue, culminating in us raising money for a charity that works to alleviate the problems of destitution. We’ll be having speakers coming in from various organisations that work with destitute asylum seekers, deciding which group to support financially through the sleepout, and informing you all about the key issues involved so that we all know exactly why we’ll be sleeping out in the freezing Glasgow weather.

Some of our members went to a special event run by the Refugee Survival Trust, the Scottish Refugee Council and the British Red Cross. Chrissy, one of our wonderful committee members, wrote this short piece about the event for those of you who weren’t there. We’re going to be working with some of the organisations involved over the next month or so and it’s a fantastic campaign to get involved in.

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The Stop Destitution Today campaign is a joint effort between the Refugee Survival Trust, Scottish Refugee Council and the British Red cross. There were speakers from the Scottish Refugee Council, someone from the poverty research dept at Glasgow Caledonian University who produced a research paper that links with the campaign, a film maker who produced a short documentary following the lives of three asylum seekers in Glasgow, an asylum seeker named Michael who gave his account of being destitute in Glasgow, and a representative from Latta & Co solicitors (immigration law specialists). The whole event was chaired by someone from the Refugee Survival Trust. (We’re hoping that they will be able to come and talk to us soon about what they do and why they do it.) We were also shown a short documentary which was quite powerful . A point to note was that the poverty researcher and the film maker didn’t have much knowledge of the asylum system/destitution within and were both shocked which reminds us of how important it is to raise awareness of this issue. After this there was a Q&A session in which the important question “what’s different about this campaign” was asked; the panel answered that it was about integration with Facebook and Twitter, by being able to share the short video and sign an online petition the message would be able to get out further and more awareness could be raised.

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If you’re interested in getting involved in the campaign please get in touch! STAR will be doing lots of things for it, but we can also put you in touch with the various other organisations working on this project. Email us at starglasgow@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter (@STARGlasgow) or find us on Facebook to learn more!

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