Arise Mentoring is an engaging personal development programme for refugee and asylum-seeking young people based in Yorkshire supported by My Foster Family, Muslim Foster Network and Mercy Mission UK.
There are many unaccompanied asylum seeking children who have come to the UK as refugees through difficult circumstances seeking a better life. Our project of Arise Mentoring aims to empower young refugees to become confident and self sufficient individuals who have the ability to reach their full potential.
Fostering is one aspect of giving a child refugee the love, stability and care they deserve but we also have to recognise that many youths who have come into the UK as refugees are in need of support in building up their careers.
Refugee children can legally be fostered up until the age of 18 and are then left to lead an independent life, often without immediate support or access to job opportunities.
We recognised the need for extended support of all refugee youths and wanted to make a change in giving them the support they need to further excel and realise their ambitions.
One of our mentees Azhar (name changed for anonymity) who came into the UK from Afghanistan stated that, “I learnt that we should never give up (on our dreams)”.
Kidwa (name changed for anonymity) another mentee from Albania stated, “It was a good experience and I got to spend time with people who understand me”.
There are often many challenges that child refugees have to face when they come to the UK. In 2017, over 2500 refugee children claimed asylum in the UK, arriving alone, with no family to support them.
Many child refugees undertake a long a difficult journey just to get to the UK with the hope of a better life. Once they get to the UK they are often faced with new challenges that can hinder their progress in life such as:
Living in Poverty
Student disconnect from Education
Parent disconnect from education
The development of the Arise mentoring programme enabled us to address the challenges faced by refugee children. In addition, we hope to build key professional relationships and empower refugee children with the ability to be connected with a mentor who could best serve their educational needs.
We were pleased to have given out mentees Ramadan Gift boxes during the month of Ramadan for them to take home and enjoy and will continue to support the needs of refugee children so that they can further excel in life.