Inspiring learning for a fairer future

Start The Change goes to Parliament

Friday, 22 November 2019 12:10

Since our Start The Change Project began, we've been across The Highands, to Lampedusa, Salzburg and, most recently, to the Scottish Parliament. One of our young female ChangeMakers groups handed a letter to Gail Ross MSP, asking that their stories be heard in order to help reunite them with their families.

The project has encouraged organisations and individuals to form #ChangeMakers groups, made up of young people that want to create positive change within their communities and the wider world; in particular by helping to challenge the often negative narratives around migration and those seeking refuge or asylum. With 9 groups across The Highlands, we've a great range of activity and work going on, all of which we'll be celebrating even more over the coming months as the project enters its latter stages.

Gail Ross MSP sign

One of our groups, calling themselves Future Girls, are originally from Syria and now living here in The Highlands. We've been working with them over the last few months as they've developed their ideas and have now visited Parliament to talk with Gail Ross MSP, in the hopes that sharing their stories will help encourage Scottish Government to make it possible for their families, and many others like theirs, to be reunited. As it stands, many of them have family members unable to either visit or join them here in Scotland - often as a result of bureacratic processes and red tape that have left them feeling powerless and in the dark.

Look at words wall for website

Before their meeting with the MSP for Caithness, Sutherland & Ross, the Future Girls were given a tour of the building and were inspired by artist Shauna McMullan's artwork,  'Travelling The Distance', which features words on 100 women who have "made a significant contribution to life, culture or democracy in Scotland".

We don't doubt that the Future Girls themselves may well soon feature on such a wall as they continue to campaign for the rights of those separated from their families as a result of violence, persecution and bureaucratic processes that dehumanise the individuals involved.

BW out the window for website

A HUGE thank you to the Future Girls and their families for sharing their stories and for letting us join them. We'll be sharing more from them soon as the project continues.

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Like our Start The Change Project, and also funded by the DEAR European funding stream, the No More Bricks In The Wall project is working to help inform and encourage more positive perceptions and understanding of migration and why people find themselves seeking refuge abroad. You can sign the European-wide petition to make October 3rd the 'European Day of Memory and Welcome'; commemorating the thousands who have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe in search of a safer, better future for them and their families.


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