Human Passion: Brighton teacher fights refugee crisis with free education
Last year Brighton Journal caught up with the wonderful Kate McAllister, the co-founder of Crisis Classroom, a Brighton-based charity that offers free education to anyone fleeing from crises.
It has now been 4 years since Kate first responded to the refugee Crisis in the “Calais Jungle” that drove her to create change. There, she witnessed upsetting scenes of refugees being given toys, and clothes, but being denied an education and basic social and language skills. She set up Crisis Classroom in order to equip refugees with sufficient education and language skills from their destination country to help them avoid being trapped in exploitative work.
Speaking to Brighton Journal in 2017, Kate told us: “I have always believed in the power of education to transform lives and I feel that an awful lot of the world’s problems are caused by not knowing enough about one another. If people had access to information and education, then an awful lot of the misunderstandings could be solved.”
As a qualified teacher with nearly 20 years of experience, Kate collaborated with Darren Abrahams, an experienced therapist, to create an organisation that “offers high-quality, psychosocially protective training to people who want to offer face-to-face support to people in need throughout Europe and beyond.” They rely on the many inspiring volunteers with human passion and who are willing to offer their time and expertise.
4 years after responding to the refugee Crisis in the Calais Jungle something rather magical has happened; a global community of humans has formed that is taking action to bring hope to people all around the world.
Crisis Classroom tackles social exclusion both locally and globally by encouraging others to work alongside people, designing unique solutions to their individual needs. The charity has continued to grow from Brighton to beyond, adding more amazing humans to their volunteer team along the way.
Their mission is based hugely on combining the skills and knowledge from people of both communities to co-create. “That’s where feelings of belonging, well-being and empowerment come from.”
Kate told us, “with each new skill that we master, it becomes easier to learn the next. With each new conversation we have with a stranger, it becomes easier to start the next. With each step towards independence and empowerment, it gets easier to take the next. That’s what Crisis Classroom does. It creates opportunities for people to take another step towards the person they want to be and the life they want to lead.”
On 25th November 2018, Crisis Classroom invite you to celebrate and connect at Ralli Hall in Hove 1-5pm.
Are you interested in the incredible work? Perhaps you feel you have something to offer Crisis Classroom? Do you want to volunteer? Tickets should be reserved in advance via Eventbrite or on the door. Crisis Classroom say “make a donation if you can, but the most important thing is to come along and meet us, connect with us and feel welcomed.”