A group of students from UEA have founded the UEA Migrant Solidarity Campaign. The campaign, which will support students and the Norwich community to collect and deliver donations for the refugees in Calais and across Europe, is supported by the Union of UEA Students (UUEAS).
The group’s intention is to “relieve pressure on other over-worked Norwich migrant support groups, educate and mobilise the student body to support refugees, migrants and migrants’ rights and establish a longer- term means of supporting migrants across Europe”.
In a statement of support for the student- led action on the union’s website, the Calais jungle was described as “already one of the biggest camps in Western Europe, and the conditions that refugees are living in have been widely reported. Human Rights Watch have reported that the inhabitants routinely face abuse, violence and harassment at the hands of the local police”.
UUEAS has stated that it “believes in the principle of collectivism, and is proud to support its students in working with the local community to provide aid for those in need”. There are currently a number of refugee support and relief efforts taking place in Norwich, including the Norfolk Calais Refugee Solidarity organisation.
The UEA Migrant Solidarity Campaign plans to “establish a drop-off point in the Hive/union for clothes and supplies, build links with other organisations in Norwich, do regular fundraising and collections for migrants in Calais, organise trips to Calais to bring supplies and volunteers and campaign for migrants’ rights”.
The group participated in Social ACtion Group during Welcome Week, and is currently in the process of becoming an official union society.
The drop-off point for donations to the campaign is currently in Union House from 09:00 – 18:00, Monday to Friday. A list of donations that are required is available on the union website. The campaign also has a Facebook group for students interested in helping with donations, or who want to get more involved.