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SolidariTee: changing lives one t-shirt at a time

Written by National, News

Student-led charity SolidariTee talk to The Courier about their aims and methods. 

According to the UNHCR, nearly one person is forcibly displaced every two seconds due to conflict or persecution. With 25.9 million refugees in the world, it’s hard to fathom the scale of this crisis. As the UN reports, over half of the world’s refugees are under 18; for some of us it hasn’t been long since we were that age. We can use our passion and our youth for good, so join SolidariTee and help to unite the student body in support of refugee rights. 

Who are SolidariTee? 

SolidariTee is the largest student-led charity fighting for change in the refugee crisis.  Through selling t-shirts that fund legal aid, dispelling myths about the crisis and spreading awareness, we make a tangible difference. Legal aid minimises the risk of an individual who has a legitimate claim to asylum from being deported unjustly and brings family members, scattered across Europe, back together again. This aid allows refugees to begin prosperous and fulfilling lives beyond camps, and gain rights to education, accommodation and healthcare. It is the most empowering form of aid we can offer.

Where does the money go?

All proceeds from the sale of each t-shirt go directly towards funding non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to provide legal aid and other vital services. And a little money goes a long way with the NGOs we support. Just £13.50 pays for a full time volunteer caseworker in Greece for the day, who sees 20-30 individuals per day; whilst £300 pays for a Greek attorney to join the team for a week.

Image: SolidariTee website

The Power of Students 

As students, we have the opportunity to use our privilege and our passion to make a change. SolidariTee is an accepting and creative community working passionately to raise awareness of the refugee crisis. Joining us gives students the chance to make substantial and tangible change in the crisis. With SolidariTee you won’t feel like a drop in the ocean, you’ll be a significant and valuable warrior of equality and change.

The refugee crisis is riddled with myths. Assumptions (for example that refugees are lazy, terrorists, and criminals) fuel hate crime, prevent integration and ultimately harm a refugee’s chance of resettlement into Europe. With so many voices and opinions on the topic, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. SolidariTee are passionate about shedding light on the refugee crisis, recognising that with education we can create a change in mindsets and a focus on empathy, inclusivity and the acknowledgement that every human being has human rights.

How can you help?

Right now, in 2020, SolidariTee has teams of student volunteers at 50 universities across the UK, US and beyond, all of whom are committed to making sustainable change in the refugee crisis, including Newcastle! You could be part of this community of like-minded individuals striving for equality, justice and equal rights.

The way you can do this is simple: become a Regional Representative at Newcastle University. This role involves fundraising, selling t-shirts and spreading awareness. It is a flexible role that fits around studies and requires no prior experience. 

If you’re interested in learning more or becoming a part of our ever-growing team here at Newcastle University, please get in touch!

Please contact Esther Price at E.Price4@newcastle.ac.uk or visit https://www.solidaritee.org.uk/the-solidaritee for more info. If you want to get on board straight away please visit https://www.solidaritee.org.uk/join-us and fill out the form!

Words by Abi Brookes and Amy Holmes

Featured Image: Shams Community on Instagram

Last modified: 18th October 2020

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