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Tottenham Students Create Global Connections in their Local Community
Volunteering is all about working together to improve your community. For students at The Vale School, a special school in the London Borough of Haringey, this means fostering a community of kindness.
The first step on the students’ WE Volunteer Now journey was visiting a local community centre to meet with a young woman from Uganda, Victoria. Aged 19, Victoria is a refugee. Two months ago, together with her sister, Victoria was finally able to move to the UK. At the centre, she shared her story:
After losing her father to HIV as a baby, her mother was forced to leave her children and move to London to earn money to send back to her family. Victoria and her sister were brought up by their nine year old brother, who acted as both parents. Happily, the family has now been reunited and the sisters are working to build new lives in the UK, but it is not yet home.
Having never met a refugee before, the students were shocked by the injustice of Victoria’s story and resolved to help the sisters to feel at home.
“I was very sad and sorry because of what they had gone through at such a young age. But I was so happy to think they had finally met their mum again,” said one student.
Since their meeting, the group have welcomed Victoria into their school and their lives. In turn, she has started volunteering at the school to teach the students about Ugandan culture.
To end their action, the students brought their whole school together for a day-long celebration for refugees. Not only has their compassionate campaign created deeper connections with their local community, but students have showed the world that The Vale School can be a home for everyone.
Uganda and the UK may be over 4,000 miles apart, but these community-focused students have broken down global barriers and proved that there is more that unites us, than divides us.