Law students at Brunel University London are combining vital volunteer work helping refugees in Greece, with an on-the-ground legal education in human rights and the challenges faced by unaccompanied minors.
For the second year running, law students led by Professor Alexandra Xanthaki have travelled to Athens, donating their time to supporting refugees staying at the Eleonas Refugee Centre as well as unaccompanied minors staying in the Faros NGO in Athens.
Brunel University London is the first European university engaged in such activities in Athens Refugee Centres and has received a thank you letter by the Greek General Secretary of Migration for its tangible contribution to the cause. The trips have increased the employability of students and have taught them how human rights are implemented in practice.
Co-ordinated by Brunel Volunteers – the University’s 2,000-strong network of philanthropic students – the group spent a week in February organising activities and supporting the distribution of clothes and shoes to refugees.
Throughout the week they also took part in discussions with Greek experts and activists, were hosted by the Office of the Greek Ombudsman for Human Rights, and explored the ever-changing situation of refugees in Europe.
“The Ombudsman really opened my eyes to the support refugees and migrants have. Awareness must be raised to the people of this body,” noted student Naiema Begum, while Yasmin Malik added that she felt “proud and honoured to be a part of something so amazing.”
This trip was supervised by Jemma Durham, a Brunel Law School graduate.
Brunel Volunteers has long encouraged and facilitated staff and students to engage in volunteering on campus, in the local community and across London, but in recent years has also extended projects internationally.
Funding for the project was supplied by Brunel’s Development and Alumni Relations Office’s Development Fund.
(Photo - @BrunelLawHR)