Ambassador Programme – Prize of A Day at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

29/04/2018

Students from two Bradford Secondary Schools heard from Kanbar Bar Hussain, a British Diplomat who came to Britain as a refugee when he was a child. He spoke to students at Grange Technology College and Carlton Bolling College about his work and engagement with humanitarian programmes and the humanitarian role of the British government.  Kanbar spoke about his next posting to Bangladesh which sparked students interest at Grange as one of the students there is a member of the BradfordRohingya Muslim community.

Following the visit, a competition was launched for sixth form school students to work with the TLN team to explore the impact of humanitarian work Britain does in a particular country of their choice whilst also giving space for discussion of challenging issues. Students from Grange Technology College chose to work together to focus on the situation for the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, inspired and informed by the personal knowledge of a student at the school who is a member of the Bradford Rohingya community. This student was able to organise an interview with members of the British Rohingya Community in Bradford which brought the energy of first-hand experience to understanding identity, equality and community. The students went on to deliver a powerful assembly in school to their peers showcasing their learning, the experiences of people now living in Bradford and explaining theirfindings about the current situation for the Rohingyas as well as the work Britain is doing to support this group of people, here and abroad

Last Thursday on a wonderful warm day Azam and Ameerah from the Linking Network team took a group of ten students from Grange Technology College, accompanied by their teachers Sarabjit Gil and David Jowle, to London as reward for their dedicated efforts on this pilot project engaging with the cross government humanitarian campaign.

We made our way to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where we were greeted by Anne- Marie, Project Coordinator for the campaign.  In the Foreign Office students had a chance to hear from staff about the nature of their job and more widely about working in the civil service. After this, students enjoyed a carousel style activity where they had a chance to spend five minutes, in groups, chatting with different people working in the foreign office. This was an opportunity to ask questions about their job roles and different routes of getting into the civil service. Students were inspired about possibilities that
were open to them as they spoke to civil servants who had worked there for many years as well as those who were new to the job.

Then time for a tour! Students were taken around the Foreign and commonwealth building and were able to see the grand architecture as well as hear about the history behind the design, paintings and layout of the building.
Finally it was time to meet the South Asian delegate and Burma team, who watched the interview the students did with the British
Rohingya Community and then spoke about what their role in the civil service entails. Students had a chance to ask questions, which mainly focussed on the situation on the ground for Rohingya Muslims in Burma and Bangladesh and about access to education for people once they get to Bangladesh.

We managed to squeeze in a few extra sights on the day including seeing Westminster, Big Ben, M&M world, China Town and Trafalgar Square which included a bite to eat and a very welcome icecream!

This visit was a great reward for these student’s hard work, recognising the efforts they put in to raising awareness of such important current issues. It was also a great opportunity for them to find out about possible career paths they may not have previously considered, which they seemed very excited about!