Hackney school children learn about the plight of refugees


School children from across the borough learnt about refugees at an interactive workshop at Hackney Museum as part of national Refugee Week. The pupils listened to the stories of people who came to the borough as children from across the world after fleeing their homes and seeking refuge in the UK.

Kaya, 11, a year six pupil from Mossbourne Parkside Academy said: “We’re here happily living our lives with our Playstations and mobile phones. I’ve got everything handed to me on a plate, but not everyone has that and it’s important to remember that during Refugee Week by remembering people who are suffering and thinking about how we can help.”

Refugee week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, which aims to encourage a better understanding between communities and raise awareness of the reality of being a refugee.

One of the year 6 teachers at Mossbourne Parkside Academy, said: “Refugee Week is more relevant now than it has ever been. It’s vital for children to know what it means to be a refugee and the workshop at the museum helps them to see the refugee as a person with a story and not a number, statistic or news story.”

The Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Rosemary Sales, who attended the event, was glad to see children learning about such an important issue. One of the Speaker’s chosen charities this year is Hackney Migrant Centre, which offers support for refugees and other migrants, helping them to access legal advice and health care and social support.


The Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Rosemary Sales
It is great to see young people so engaged in learning about refugees and for them to understand the issues that affect other children their age around the world. With so much negative publicity about refugees and migrants, it is great to see positive messages being given about people who come to this country seeking refuge.
The Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Rosemary Sales


Hear stories of Hackney’s refugees at Hackney Museum: www.hackney.gov.uk/museum-visiting.

Find out more about Refugee Week: www.refugeeweek.org.uk.

Find out more about Hackney Migrant Centre: www.hackneymigrantcentre.org.uk.

The local migration stories were collected and recorded by Eithne Nightingale and Mitchell Harris and feature in a brand new film which you can watch on the Child Migrant Stories website.