RefuAid has been working with English UK members since it was founded in 2015, and those links became closer when we selected it as the pathfinder charity for our Eddie Byers Fund in 2017. Moved by the selfless altruism of so many of our members, devastating news from around the world, especially from Afghanistan, and the knowledge that there are currently 1,500 people on the waiting list for the 'Language: A Gateway' programme, we are now developing our partnership with RefuAid, supporting the expansion of the language programme with renewed energy.
RefuAid's 2020/2021 impact report shows that despite the effect of the pandemic this past year, 75 English UK member centres provided free tuition to 223 refugee students through the 'Language: A Gateway' programme, who went on to graduate with IELTS or OET qualifications.
RefuAid's intensive language tuition courses provides up to 32 hours a week of structured English language support as well as exams and qualifications. The programme is delivered through partnerships with British Council accredited English language teaching centres. The teaching centres offer free tuition and RefuAid supports the student in a caseworker capacity, as well as supporting financially with travel expenses, course materials and exam fees.
Wherever you are based in the UK, there will be opportunities for you to get involved, either through face-to-face or online teaching. This is especially the case if you offer pre-sessional, IELTS, OET or other exam preparation courses.
> read more details and apply to become a RefuAid partner
Last year, doctors were the largest single group of professionals. Passing IELTS or OET is the first step for most to getting their qualifications recognised in the UK so that they can work for the NHS. Moving case histories tell the stories of some, like anaesthetist Dr Wafaa Alnason who arrived here in 2017 after fleeing Syria and has been working on the Covid frontline in an East London hospital. Manal contacted RefuAid in January 2020 because she needed to sit the OET language exam to begin her medical requalification: she is now a fully-registered UK doctor training new vaccinators in Liverpool.
> read RefuAid's 2020-21 impact report
> read about language programme graduates 2020-21
RefuAid only partners with English UK member centres. There are 1,500 people on RefuAid's waiting list, and this is before the expected influx of refugee from Afghanistan. These are individuals who, without access to structured language support, will be unable to continue working towards their educational or professional goals.
It is an incredibly difficult time for English UK members, and that is why it is a point of huge pride that so many have continued to support RefuAid's work. English UK commits to sharing these stories of hope and inspiration far and wide and will continue to connect our incredible members to the RefuAid programme.