Crisis Classroom: From Brighton to the Balkans

By Crisis Classroom CIC

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There are currently 65.8 million displaced people around the world who have had their education forcibly disrupted. That's 65.8 million people without access to the skills, knowledge and connections to move themselves forward in life.

We are taking the benefits of non-formal education to refugees and displaced people across Europe - creating safe spaces for learning and connection for people who have had their education forcibly disrupted. We create spaces where people can share knowledge, skills, and advice, bringing communities closer and creating pathways into new friendships, further education, employment and training.

A little bit of context

Between 2015 and 2017 1.5 million people headed to Europe, having fled war, poverty and climate change in their own countries to make new lives in safety. Every country in Europe is taking a different approach to supporting incoming migrants and refugees and as a result many people are not able to access good education: things like language to help people access services, vocational skills to find work, cultural skills to navigate a new society and social skills to make new friends. Without these many refugees end up lost, alone and marginalised on the edges of a world they can't reach.

At the same time many Europeans are feeling helpless and marginalised themselves. At a time of economic uncertainty and globalisation, tensions are rising around the continent as people feel unwilling to make room for newcomers who they feel are taking away resources from them.

Here’s what we’re doing about it

This year we're heading back out on the road, leaving our hometown of Brighton and traveling back along the refugee routes of Europe, this time in a transit van, with our inflatable pop-up classroom and two volunteer teachers - Alon and Melissa. Here they are!

We're going to meet people and projects across Europe to find out what migrants and refugees settling into life on the continent need now, how those needs are currently being met and what the Crisis Classroom community can do to contribute. We'll be asking people what they want to achieve next - whether that is learn a new skill, start a business, or build a school - and then bringing in extra support from the global community in the form of funds, resources and people to make it happen. All the while we will be:

  • Sharing skills and learning with New Europeans and locals together

  • Researching new ways to teach & support displaced people according to their needs

  • Documenting our journey and the stories of the people we meet along the way

Here's what we need

We need to raise £25,000 to power our team around Europe for four months and to support them as they travel.

Your donations will help us:

  • Buy our van
  • Cover food, fuel, accommodation, travel and teaching resources for Alon and Melissa
  • Provide support for Alon and Melissa from our team in Brighton
  • Allow us to train more people in the UK and around Europe to join them

We want you to be a part of this journey - contribute to our campaign; help us find resources and make connections; volunteer your time and learn how to share your skills; meet us along the way to hand-deliver your contribution. Together we can all learn how to Make Room for each other and thrive.

Check out the perks on the right-hand side of this page!

If you are a business we'd love you to invest in us! We have some excellent packages to get your logo on our mobile classroom and train up to 20 members of your team. You can find out more about investing here.

Or if you'd like to start your own fundraiser page follow this link to get all you need to raise money by hosting your own Crisis Classroom lesson. Download the instructions, invite your friends and spend some time having a new learning experience together.

Thank you so much for your support! With your help we can start a global movement and bring education to people who need it everywhere.

About Crisis Classroom

In 2015/16 we built our first project in the Calais refugee camp. In one year we developed a teaching methodology on the ground with refugees, a training programme which trained 56 volunteer teachers, raised £45,000 through crowdfunding and converted a double-decker bus into a mobile school.

We are building a movement that will empower people everywhere to share their skills, start a project and positively impact the education and development needs of displaced people everywhere. We want to break down the barriers between people by training them to teach and learn side by side. At the same time we will up-skill volunteers in host communities and create opportunities for meaningful contact between cultures.

Click here to find out more about training opportunities.

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Team Members

Darren Abrahams

Alon Harshak

Kate McAllister

Kate McAllister

Melissa Ray